When it comes to the topic of child safety, every internet source has their own slanted narrative, and so does every individual mom who has done their research and experimentation. Just like every other baby product, Amber teething necklaces carry the weight of some controversy. They are said to be either the greatest teething craze invented, or, a grave threat to your child’s life, or somewhere in between.
Not familiar with the trend? Amber teething necklaces are a snug (not too loose or tight) strand of amber beads for children to wear during the painful season of teething. The warmth from their skin is said to activate the oil in the amber resin, which releases a natural pain reliever called succinic acid. This is then absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream and simply acts as a “helper” when teething toys, cold objects, or even baby tylenol isn’t quite cutting it.
If you’re not sure whether this product is right for your child, let’s get all the pros and cons out of the way.
- Needs to be removed before every nap (to prevent choking while unsupervised.
- Even while supervised, events like strangulation can occur
- If the strand breaks, a child may attempt to eat the stones or possibly block their airway in the process
- Because of the above reasons, it is not recommended by most pediatricians.
- Some skeptics say the beads have to be heated to at least 200 degrees fahrenheit to excrete the oils (two times over normal body temperature)
- The releasing of succinic acid is seen as more holistic and ancient medicine and is not officially backed by science, despite very consistent claims that it does, in fact, work.
- Seasoned “natural” moms recommend putting the necklace on as early as two months, so that your child gets used to wearing it and it then just behaves as another article of clothing. Many mothers that start the use of the necklace very young and watch their child acclimate are more at ease when it comes to risks of choking.
- Succinic acid not only supposed to relieve pain (and is helpful for adults too, suffering from arthritis or other joint pain) but is said to be immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, and has a calming effect on the wearer.
- Many moms swear it reduces drooling significantly. This may be due to succinic being an alkalizing acid, which has metabolic benefits.
- Succinic acid is FDA approved, this being because it is an element that commonly occurs in our food. So while the benefits cannot be proven medically, the acid itself is not harmful.
For many, the benefits do not offset the possible risks. If this is you, it is definitely best to use your best judgement. Every child is different, and every mother knows what’s best for their individual baby. On the flip side, pro-amber necklace moms say they have little or nothing to fear because their baby adjusted to the wearing of the necklace, so they are aware of it but they never not attempt to remove, break, or eat it. They also notice a significant difference when the child is wearing it versus not, or have used it on one child but not their sibling. Thankfully modern technology has also provided us with more security measures for our children, such as video monitors and baby breathing monitors (like Snuza). This allows mothers to keep their eyes or ears on their babies 24/7.
For more information on this subject, as well as how succinic acid breaks down molecularly, please click the links below.