The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about teething jewelry following the death of an 18-month-old child. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the child was strangled by an amber teething necklace during a nap. The FDA also received a report on a 7-month-old baby who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet.
Dangers of Teething Products
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said these teething necklaces and jewelry products have become increasingly popular among parents and caregivers who want to provide relief for children’s teething pain, and provide sensory stimulation for children with special needs. However, he said, officials are concerned about the dangers they have seen 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.
The FDA also recommends avoiding teething creams, benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges for mouth and gum pain. Anesthetics such as benzocaine can cause a condition known as methemoglobinemia, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the child’s blood. This condition could even prove fatal. The FDA recommends using a firm rubber teething ring or massaging your child’s gums with your finger to ease pain during teething.
Tips to Soothe Teething Pains
If you are a parent or caregiver who is dealing with your child’s teething issues, here are a few tips:
- Rub your baby’s gums. Use a clean finger or moistened gauze pad to massage your baby’s gums. The pressure can help ease pain and discomfort.
- Keep it cool with a cold washcloth, spoon or chilled teething ring. Do not give your baby a frozen teething ring.
- Try hard foods. If your child is eating solid foods, you might offer something edible for gnawing such as a peeled and chilled cucumber or carrot. It is important that you keep a close eye on your baby because any pieces that break off might pose a choking hazard.
- Dry your baby’s drool. Excessive drooling is often part of the teething process. Keep a clean cloth handy to dry your baby’s chin. Apply a moisturizer.
- Avoid homeopathic teething tablets or medications that contain benzocaine or lidocaine. They can be harmful or even fatal for your baby.
If your child has been harmed by dangerous or defective teething products, contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.