Teething necklaces are popular items that mothers buy for their babies. But this incident shows why they are incredibly unsafe for children.
The products are developed for babies to wear around their necks while they go through teething. All mothers will tell you that teething is a difficult time for the child and the whole family.
Teething is incredibly painful to babies. And the only way that babies can express that pain is through crying.
Therefore, many mothers have been turning to teething necklaces to alleviate a baby’s symptoms. But new evidence shows that they are highly dangerous.
Danielle Morin had been gifted a teething necklace. She gave it to her one-and-a-half-year-old child, Deacon.
As many people would, Danielle thought that a product made for babies would be safe. But it turns out that she was wrong.
At daycare one day, Deacon was placed down for a nap. He was wearing the teething necklace.
While Deacon was sleeping, the necklace tightened around his neck. Soon his breath was cut off.
When the carers saw that Deacon was undergoing a medical emergency, they rushed him to the hospital. Sadly, Deacon didn’t make it.
Of course, Danielle was furious. The product contained no safety warnings. And as it was a product for babies, she had assumed that it was fine for Deacon to wear.
She is now suing Etsy, the marketplace that the teething necklace came from.
Etsy is denying any responsibility for the item.
But how was it possible for a product to be legally sold that was potentially harmful to a young child?
After all, it’s 2019, and there have been hundreds of years of safety regulations!
A number of doctors agree that teething necklaces should be an illegal item.
One such doctor is Dan Flanders of Kindercare Pediatrics. He says that “One completely preventable death is one too many. It shouldn’t have happened.”
He also says that there is a whole other way that teething necklaces are dangerous for children. This other danger lies in the fact that the necklace could break and the beads of the device would then be a choking hazard.
But the problem is even worse than it sounds.
Not only are teething necklaces legal, but their sales are also increasing.
Dr. Catherine Cox has said that teething necklaces increasingly have misleading safety claims, such as “saying that there’s a knot between each bead that reduces the probability of [them] becoming loose.” On top of this, other manufacturers are erroneously stating that the necklaces will break under tension, eliminating the risk of strangulation.
But Danielle and Deacon’s story shows that teething necklaces are dangerous and should not be given to children.
In December 2018, the FDA finally issued a warning regarding the safety risks of teething necklaces.
The official warning said that teething necklaces (and similar teething jewelry products) “should not be used to relieve pain in children or to provide sensory stimulation to persons with special needs.”
In addition to strangulation and choking, the FDA highlighted a third health hazard. It said that amber teething necklaces/jewelry contain succinic acid, “which allegedly may be released into an infant’s bloodstream.”
How has the FDA not banned these products yet?
The warning is a good start, but it doesn’t go far enough to eliminate the risks that teething necklaces and jewelry pose to children.
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