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Parents warned to avoid amber teething necklaces

Parents are being warned to avoid using amber teething necklaces after a serious incident in the US where a child was almost strangled by one of the popular products.

Commissioner for Fair Trading Victoria Thomson said there are a number of risks associated with the amber bead necklaces which are marketed as an alternative treatment to ease teething pain for babies and toddlers.

“These necklaces can strangle or choke a child so the consumer product safety team within the Office of Fair Trading is strongly advising parents and guardians to avoid them completely due to the safety risks,” Ms Thomson said.

“If children have these around their necks there is a risk of strangulation, particularly if they are sleeping in them.

“If the necklace breaks and the small beads are released, there is a risk of them choking if they put the beads in their mouths.

“Additionally, authorities are unable to substantiate the therapeutic claims made by producers of these products.”

Amber teething necklaces and bracelets consist of amber beads which are a fossilised tree resin and range in colour from yellow to white and beige to brown. According to the marketing of these products, they are not meant to be chewed by the infant but instead worn against the skin.

If parents or guardians insist on putting these necklaces on their children, please keep the following points in mind:

  • supervise the child at all times when they are wearing the necklace
  • remove the necklace if the child is sleeping during the day or overnight
  • do not allow the child to mouth or chew on the necklace or bracelet
  • seriously consider using alternate forms of pain relief
  • seek medical advice if you have concerns about your child’s health and wellbeing.

For more information on product safety, children’s safety advice and to order any product safety brochures, visit the Fair Trading website or call 13 (QGOV) 13 7468.