Death of 18-month-old prompts FDA warning about teething bracelets, necklaces

The Food and Drug Administration is warning parents, caregivers, and medical workers about the dangers of using jewelry as teething rings to help relieve a baby’s discomfort.

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The warning follows the death of an 18-month-old toddler, who was strangled by his amber teething necklace during a nap, and other serious injuries to children, according to FDA officials.

"The risks of using jewelry for relieving teething pain include choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth and infection. Choking can happen if the jewelry breaks and a small bead enters the child's throat or airway," agency officials said in a press release Thursday.

That's exactly what happened to at least one baby, who was rushed to the hospital after choking on the wooden beads from a teething bracelet, the FDA warning said.

"Consumers should consider following the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations of alternative ways for treating teething pain, such as rubbing inflamed gums with a clean finger or using a teething ring made of firm rubber," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.

"Given the breadth of the market for these teething necklaces and jewelry, we're sharing this important safety information directly to consumers in order to help prevent injuries in infants and kids," Gottlieb said.

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