In 2016, Danielle Morin’s son Deacon died days after a teething necklace strangled the toddler in his sleep. Morin is now suing Etsy, where she purchased the jewelry, as well as the vendor who created the piece.
“This one that was purchased on Etsy.com had a screw-on clasp that could not be released. And so, when baby Deacon was hung up on something, it didn’t release and caused him to suffocate,” Morin’s lawyer, John Carpenter, told CBS LA.
In December 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned parents about the dangers of jewelry marketed for teething after an 18-month-old who was strangled by his amber teething necklace died.
“We’re concerned about the risks we’ve observed with these products and want parents to be aware that teething jewelry puts children, including those with special needs, at risk of serious injury and death,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
Teething jewelry made from amber, wood, marble, or silicone is dangerous for babies
According to the FDA, any jewelry made from amber, wood, marble, or silicone that an adult can wear should not be given to a teething child, even if it is marketed to help with teething pain. Necklaces and bracelets made from these materials, and especially those that have beads, can strangle or choke a child who uses them and potentially be fatal.
There are safe and approved alternatives to teething jewelry parents can use instead
Rather than use potentially life-threatening objects for teething, the FDA and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend parents give babies firm rubber teething rings to help with pain. Parents and caregivers can also gently massage a baby’s gums with a clean finger to help soothe them, according to the AAP.
In addition to teething jewelry, the AAP also warns against the use of frozen rubber teethers which can become too hard and “cause more harm than good,” according to the AAP website. Special tablets sold to relieve gum pain like may also contain dangerous a plant poison called belladonna and gels with benzocaine are dangerous too.
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