Why the AAP says NOT to use Amber Teething Necklaces

Amber teething necklaces have become popular in recent years but many parents are now questioning their effectiveness and safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using amber teething necklaces for several reasons and we’re breaking them down for you here:

Why the AAP says NOT to use Amber Teething NecklacesWhat are Amber Teething Necklaces?

Manufacturers of these baby-sized beaded necklaces made of amber rock claim that they reduce teething pain for little ones. Amber contains succinic acid which is a natural analgesic. When a baby’s body temperature heats up the amber rocks, succinic acid is supposedly absorbed into her skin to help relieve painfulness from teething. Additionally producers claim amber teething necklaces trigger the thyroid gland to prevent drool and boost the immune system to alleviate other symptoms of teething such as inflammation of the ears, throat and digestive tract.

Do Amber Teething Necklaces Work?

No scientific studies have show that amber teething necklaces are effective in reducing pain, drooling or other symptoms of teething. Some parents have had anecdotal success, but this has not been backed by science or medicine.

Hazards of Amber Teething Necklaces

Beyond the lack of proven effectiveness of amber teething necklaces, they are a major strangulation/suffocation and choking hazard. Jewelry of any kind is discouraged for babies, especially necklaces as they may restrict your baby’s breathing. Suffocation is the leading cause of death among infants under 12 months. Amber teething necklaces can cause choking if your baby rips apart the necklace and swallows any of the beads. The necklaces are not meant for oral use whatsoever.

If you do proceed with an amber teething necklace, it is better to put it on your baby’s wrist or ankle to avoid suffocation. Also, never leave the necklace on your baby unattended and absolutely never allow your baby to wear it while sleeping.

Other Warnings

Even if you do decide to try an amber teething necklace for your baby, you may not be getting much amber at all. Many manufacturers who claim to sell natural amber necklaces actually provide products with very little amber content and are therefore low in succinic acid.

Sources: Healthy Children, What to Expect and Alpha Mom