Hyderabad: Giving necklaces, bangles and rings to infants during their teething age, which is between four and 36 months, is dangerous stated the Food and Drug Administration.
Two deaths due to choking in 2018 prompted the FDA to issue this warning to parents. The teething necklaces must not be kept around the neck all the time as it was found that it had led to choking.
Dr Preeti Sharma, senior paediatrician at KIMS Hospitals, explained, “Infants are casually given these objects. In the hospital, we see cases of infants swallowing a foreign object once every three months at least. Recently, we had a child who had swallowed a ring. It came out in the stool but the parents panicked and the infant had to undergo an X-Ray to see where the foreign object was.”
Teething products are sold in the form of necklaces, bracelets, anklets which can also be worn by the adult or the child. These products are also sold online and are popular.
Paediatrician Dr Krishna Prasad said teething is a very difficult time for the child as they have problems in the bowels, gum irritation, loss of appetite and disturbed sleep.
“During this time, they need to be given teething products which are approved and considered to be safe. Often the caregivers or parents find that the child is attracted towards shiny jewellery that they are wearing and give it casually without realising that these metals have chemicals which will affect the child,” Dr Krishna Prasad said.
The most common form of contamination due to teething is seen in the form of diarrhoea and these are recurrent in nature if the source is not identified, he said.
In a study, among 220 participants, it was found that 87 per cent of the young infants had complaints of recurrent diarrohea during teething. The study published in the Journal of Oral Research found that 33.8 per cent parents allowed the child to bite on chilled objects, 62.7 per cent opted for medications and 45 per cent rubbed the gums to relieve the symptoms. Only 13 per cent approached caregivers or dentists for advice.
Dr K. Satyendra Kumar, senior dentist, said, the market has FDA certified teethers which are made mostly in animal shapes which are safe.