I’m a huge believer in science. However, I’ve been fooled many a time by marketing. Clever marketing at that. I’ve tried everything under the sun to help my teething first born. The gels, the teethers and all the medicated potions you could name. Teething is my least favourite thing about being a parent. It really sucks.
Come baby number two amber teething necklaces were advertised to treat and relieve babies from the horrors of teething.
So I bought ten. I made amber shrines.
My boy still drooled, in fact, he did until just after his third birthday. He wore a bib his first few months of ECCE just to protect his neck. His gums flared up something awful the week before a new tooth would cut and he was always like a bag of cats the closer it came to popping out.
I then bought them for my younger two. I’ve even had a pair customized with pretty colours for my youngest.
But this is where reality checks in, there is no reliable studies or scientific evidence to prove amber teething jewellery work to relieve teething pain in toddlers or babies. Not an inkling.
The theory is amber contains an analgesic substance called succinic acid that is supposedly released from the beads through the warmth of a child’s body and absorbed by the bloodstream through the skin helping to ease the pain. Succinic acid melts at 187 °C so If the human body temperate is 37°C how is it released to heal babies' teething pain?
The HSE and Competition and Consumer Protection Commission advise against the use of amber bead jewellery as they pose a choking risk regardless of the type of clasp used.
According to the HSE website, amber teething jewellery is "unsafe for babies, and pose several serious risks". They say:
- Amber teething jewellery poses a potential choking and inhalation hazard to any child under the age of three and the jewellery is small enough to be swallowed whole by a small child or baby.
- The beads can also break away or become loose from the string away from them which can be a choking hazard if swallowed or inhaled.
- They also recommend never putting any kind of string, chain or cord around a baby’s neck.
While the HSE Child Safety Awareness Programme (CSAP) strongly advise against the use of amber teething jewellery they do stress constant supervision is needed if you feel a need to use them.
Written by Kellie Kearney staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.mylittlebabog.com.