Amber Teething Beads: a Trendy Choking Risk

ash-lr-white-backMore and more babes of teething age, which spans a few months to a few years, are sporting those adorable amber necklaces, said to release pain relievers into the skin when warmed by the body’s temp. Efficacy aside (no, there’s no scientific evidence that they work), pediatricians from the US to Europe are increasingly alarmed by their choking potential. This recent post in the NY Times Well column lays the facts out clearly.

Okay, New Age moms, we get it. It hurts to see your little one suffering while those choppers push their way through the gums, and you’ll do almost anything to find a natural, drug-free fix. And they’re a mighty cute accessory around that adorable baby neck. But just like you wouldn’t put your toddler to bed with a bowl of peanuts within arms reach, beware of those amber strands. If the string breaks and beads fall off, choking can result.

Instead, try a frozen damp washcloth chew or partially frozen fruit, and never leave a small child alone with anything chewable.

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.

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