Are Teething Necklaces Safe?
There have recently been several reports of babies choking on, or being strangled by teething necklaces. Tragically some of these incidents have resulted in loss of life. Thankfully these cases do seem to be rare but it is only natural that the question arises as to the safety of these teething necklaces. Not only the materials they are made from, but also how they are made, tested, and of course the practicalities of their use with an infant.
What You Need to Know
Our own teething necklaces are made from food grade silicone and untreated beech wood. It is a legal requirement for a bead from each manufacturer to be safety tested. This ensures the beads do not contain BPA, PVC, or any other harmful substances, all of which is carried out in a UK testing facility. In addition to the beads, every other element of the necklace requires testing, including the cord, clasps, and any other material that may be used.
The production of the necklace itself needs to be carried out with strict adherence to EU standards EN71 – 1 ,2 and 3. This is an indepth set of guidelines that lay out specific measurements and strengths that manufacturers must comply with during the production of baby safe teething products. All teething necklaces at Mamiina have been made to these exacting standards, and in addition to the chemical testing of the indivdual components, have also undergone testing for the aforementioned standards, all within recognised UK testing laboratories.
Are Teething Necklaces Safe When Purchased Online?
There are countless online stores and sellers offering a large variety of different teething necklaces and teething jewellery for babies. It is important when choosing who to purchase form that you know the source of the products and have a degree of trust in the person or company you are purchasing from. Remember you are well within your rights to request to see certification showing that the seller has tested their products, and if in doubt we would always advise you to do so.
As well as legitimate company ecommerce websites, teething jewellery can be purchased at a number of online marketplaces, sometimes at what appears to be a cheaper price. Many of these sellers are legitimate businesses looking for extra outlets for their products, however there are also many items for sale that to an untrained eye appear to be just as good as the real thing. Having a solid understanding of the EN Standards quickly shows these products in another light. If in doubt, ask for a certificate!
In December 2016 a one year old baby boy tragically lost his life whilst at day care caused by strangulation due to the teething necklace he was wearing. It was ruled in a 2019 court case against internet marketplace ETSY and it’s seller, that the cause of death was due to the clasp not releasing. What should have been a magnetic quick release clasp was instead a screw-in mechanism. ETSY have recently banned the sale of baby products with small components such as silicone beads from their site.
Silicone vs Amber Teething Necklaces
Silicone beads are thoroughly tested and are certified free from BPA, phthalates, lead and cadmium. This testing, although expensive, is vital to ensure there is nothing in our products that can harm your baby’s delicate system. In addition to this, silicone beads are of solid construction and will not break when chewed.
Silicone is hygenic, hypoallergenic and also resistant to bacteria. One of the added benefits of silicone is that it can be cleaned in your steriliser, providing you have purchased an all silicone teething product without any wooden elements.
Being a far softer compound than amber, there is also less chance of your baby’s gums becoming aggravated by any hard or rough edges.
Many claims have been made in recent years by baby product manufacturers as well as vendors regarding the benefits of Amber on the health and well-being of your baby.
Succinic Acid: Claims have been made that chewing Amber releases succinic acid that not only soothes your baby’s gums, but also acts as a painkiller and even helps the immune system. At Mamiina we have been unable to find any medical or scientific papers to substantiate this claim.
On the contrary however, succinic acid has been shown as being a possible cause of irritation to the eyes, skin, mucous membrances, and upper respiratory tract. More information can be found at the US National Institutes of Health webste PubChem.
Are teething necklaces safe when made from Amber? At Mamiina we will be sticking with silicone to be on the safe side!
Follow Manufacturers Advice
There are ultimately 2 answers to the initial question, however each answer is very much dependant on the context it is asked in.
Are Teething Necklaces Safe for Babies to Wear?
Absolutely not in our opinion. The risk of choking is not worth even thinking about, regardless of the clasp that has been used for the necklace. As a mother there are too many variables for me to consider putting a necklace of any description on my baby. There are far safer alternatives, such as a teething ring, or silicone animal teethers, that prevent no risk of strangulation to your baby. In addition, these can be placed in the fridge prior to use which our little one just loves!
Are Teething Necklaces Safe for Mums to Wear?
Yes, when used in strict accordance to the guidelines that should be provided with your purchase. When you buy a product from Mamiina it will include a care card, which amongst other things, provides you with instructions on how to use the necklace safely with your baby. Above all, you are the person wearing the necklace. The only interaction your baby should have with it is when they are in your arms whilst breast feeding or just for that cherished cuddle! NEVER leave your baby unattended with any item of jewellery, or any other item that could potentially cause a choking hazard.
This article ‘are teething necklaces safe for your baby?’ is intended for information purposes only and is based upon our own experience in the manufacturing and testing of our own products, both in UK safety labs, and with our own teething baby! We sell a large range of teething necklaces that are designed with safety in mind above all. If you are still unsure and would like to discuss which of our products may be suitable for you and your baby, please use the contact form to get in touch with us directly.