Should I really be wearing this amber necklace? (Photo: Getty Images)
Your infant is probably too young to wear bling, especially if it's this kind of thing. Silicone Teether Pacifier Clip
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a new warning about babies and jewelry. No, it's not about babies are being all ostentatious and trying to show off their wealth. Rather, the concern is teething jewelry, such as necklaces and bracelets that are being marketed for babies to chew on to supposedly alleviate teething pain.
But chew on this. The FDA is raising concerns about the effectiveness and safety of such jewelry. After all, such jewelry may include substances such as amber, wood, marble, or silicone, materials that don't belong in infants' or anyone else's mouths. In other words, the answer to how much wood, would a baby chuck, should be zero. These materials can lead to mouth damage, infections, and other reactions. Plus, where's the evidence that the jewelry does anything but make your baby look nouveau riche? Such jewelry is just not the same as teething products that are made of safer materials such as rings of hard plastic or rubber.
There's also the shape and configurations of such jewelry, making them choking, strangulation, and injury risks. The FDA warning cites reports of "a 7-month old child who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under parental supervision" and an "18-month old child who was strangled to death by his amber teething necklace during a nap."
Oh baby, why do adults keep coming up with stuff that may not be safe to put into your mouth? This certainly is not the first FDA warning about teething products. Remember the warnings about toxic belladonna in homeopathic teething products and benzocaine in over-the-counter teething products? Why risk putting unproven and potentially dangerous things in babies' mouths when there are already more natural and safer ways to deal with teething pain such as rubbing your baby's gums, changing what he or she eats, applying cool wash cloths, and using teething rings?
Large Silicone Beads Before you consider any teething pain product, check for scientific evidence that it works and is truly safe. With the FDA warning, it's now clear that two types of people should think twice before wearing jewelry: the nouveau riche and babies.