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Advice on Amber teething necklaces

(75 Posts)
Keelynskye Tue 13-Aug-13 10:11:23

I have heard alot about these amber teething necklaces and wondered if any one have used them and I if u have had good or bad experiences with them and where the best place to buy them please help

maja00 Tue 13-Aug-13 10:13:36

They are magic, so I guess it depends on whether you believe in magic?

If you believe enough, they will probably work for you!

Keelynskye Tue 13-Aug-13 10:22:19

I take it you haven't use one then. I'm just trying to get prepared for when my baby starts teething so looking at all options :-)

maja00 Tue 13-Aug-13 10:27:48

No, I'm afraid I'm more of a science than a magic type.

mamamidwife Tue 13-Aug-13 10:40:22

I've used them for my two, but I don't know how much help they have been as you can't really quantify it!
They have had very minimal teething issues though.
I bought them on the basis that if they work then great, if not then they look pretty anyway.
I purposely bought raw amber beads and not polished, as the theory is that as the skin warms the amber the properties in the resin are absorbed by the skin. I figured this would be more probable if the amber hadn't had the life polished out of it!
I thought it was worth taking a punt, if there was a chance on cutting down on sleepless nights & calpol smile

maja00 Tue 13-Aug-13 10:46:58

You need to heat amber to 200 degrees to release anything from it, so I wouldn't worry about that! If anything was being absorbed into the baby's skin it would have to be safety tested and licensed, which it isn't.

bruffin Tue 13-Aug-13 10:50:25

Why dont you look at the research behind them, rather go on annecdotes.

They are supposed to contain succinic acid which is supposed to have pain relieving properties. Only problem is that amber needs to be heated to 200 degrees to release it.
Even if succinic acid can be released at body temperature, you are releasing an unknown quantity of an unknown strength of a drug into your babies system, does that really sound sensible?

Then there is the choking risk of putting beads on your baby. I dont care how well the necklace/brecelet are made, there is a risk that they will break.
They dont even look cute, just tacky.

mamamidwife Tue 13-Aug-13 11:26:34

It's true it's difficult to find hard evidence, and i could only find anecdotal accounts. My SIL recommended to me, she is Dutch and in her community, their use is commonplace as it is in many other places in Europe.
I purchased with scepticism but my DD has worn it for approx 16months now; and i like the way it looks her, you can buy some very nice ones but I shopped around to find one that was well made, as I obviously don't want to buy one that the beads are going to fall off etc.
The succinic acid is not a harmful drug though and is used commonly in food and beverages so I am not at all concerned about this aspect.
It's really an individual choice smile

maja00 Tue 13-Aug-13 12:23:38

It is known as a skin irritant though grin Luckily none of it actually comes into contact with the baby's skin!

GibberTheMonkey Tue 13-Aug-13 12:25:40

I thought it was more to do with the static electricity that amber produces when rubbed. Thales of Miletus and all that

ExBrightonBell Tue 13-Aug-13 12:36:30

Please don't get one of these necklaces or bracelets - they are a choking/strangulation hazard. They will also do nothing for teething pain as pp have explained. I would recommend a good teething gel (containing lidocaine) and calpol or similar.

Seb101 Tue 13-Aug-13 12:36:34

My baby girl had worn one since she was 5 months old. She's 19 months now. We've had no teething problems at all, no disturbed sleep. Of course this may have been the case with or without necklace. But hey, it's worth a go IMO. I think they look pretty, so whether it works or not; no harm done. They are perfectly safe IMO, just remove them at sleep times; I put it around babies ankle during sleep. Just cause something's not proved by science does not mean its not true, gosh science can't explain many things. If your curious, I'd buy one, try it out, have an open mind.

CoteDAzur Tue 13-Aug-13 12:40:09

No succinic acid leaves the amber necklace and enters your baby's neck through the skin.

Amber is a very tough substance. It is fossil that has been created many tens of thousands of years ago, and managed to remain intact so it can be put in a necklace for your baby. Do you think it will just decompose and stuff leak out of it because it remains near your baby's 37 C skin? hmm You need to heat it to 200 C for that to happen.

By the way, succinic acid is a skin irritant so if any of it actually leached out of the amber necklace and onto the baby's skin, you would know about it very quickly and you wouldn't be happy with the result. And teething would be the least if your baby's worries.

ExBrightonBell Tue 13-Aug-13 12:42:07

If the necklace/bracelet snaps at any point, the beads are a horrendous choking hazard - it isn't worth the risk. Even on an ankle, it could snap spraying beads around the cot which could then be choked on.

The risk is not worth it, especially because it is not possible for the amber to have any effect (as clearly explained by pp).

worldgonecrazy Tue 13-Aug-13 12:50:21

I am split between science and woo. DD had one, we had no teething issues at all.

They look cute and have been used for a very long time by many people with no known adverse effects. The beads are small and knotted individually. I've had a quick google and not found a single story about a child choking on an amber bead necklace - of course that doesn't mean it hasn't happened, but shows that if it has happened it's incredibly rare, and rather lower than the number of children admitted to hospital because of Calpol overdose.

I don't think amber necklaces work through the acid though, I think they work entirely through woo wink grin

ExBrightonBell Tue 13-Aug-13 12:53:12

Worldgonecrazy, can you put a link to your stats about hospital admissions for calpol overdoses? I'm interested to know how often this actually happens. Thanks.

bruffin Tue 13-Aug-13 13:09:24

Seb101

My dd teethed 4 teeth at a time without us noticing without us noticing. She never wore an amber necklace, some children just dont have problems.

TheTruffleHunter Tue 13-Aug-13 13:20:21

We use them and they seem to work - no idea how or why but they do! We only use them as anklets cos I'm not keen on the idea of a necklace as everything is going into her mouth at the moment!

Whenever we've noticed her getting tetchy with her teeth, it turns out she's kicked her anklets off and once they're back on she settles again.

I have no idea about the science (or otherwise) but they help my baby and that's all I'm bothered about.

worldgonecrazy Tue 13-Aug-13 13:20:22

No stats sorry. I just did a google based on "child choked amber bead" with an additional "died" when I got no results. Then I googled "child calpol overdose" and got quite a few stories, including one where the precis stated that 125 children had been admitted to hospital following calpol overdoses. So not a terribly scientific survey - though I do think it shows that the potential risks of amber are rather lower than the potential risks of Calpol. If amber doesn't work then no harm is done and Calpol can be given to aid teething pain.

ExBrightonBell Tue 13-Aug-13 13:43:10

Worldgonecrazy, was the article you read:

joana-morais.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/child-drug-overdoses-shock-figures.html?m=1 ?

It states in the article that the figure of 125 child overdoses is for ALL overdoses on any type of medicine or hard drugs. So not 125 children with parent administered overdoses of calpol.

Interestingly I found an article which states that the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) have only ever received 26 reports of paracetamol overdose in children. This was in Nov 2011 so perhaps there have been a few more since then.

Just because there are not widespread reports of children choking or being strangled by necklaces/bracelets, doesn't mean that it isn't risky. I would not take the chance, especially as an amber necklace cannot have any effect to relieve pain (see pp excellent explanations of why).

OP, teething gel and calpol (or similar) is an excellent method of relieving teething pain.

worldgonecrazy Tue 13-Aug-13 13:47:32

I didn't read any articles, just a quick google and precis of pages, so thank you for the correction. So 26 reported paracetomol overdoses versus no amber bead/amber necklace choking incidents reported.

And see my pp of why amber does work wink grin It's all about the woo!

curlew Tue 13-Aug-13 13:52:11

What I find baffling is that people don't want to use an incredibly safe, well regulated and tested painkiller - paracetamol- because of the perceived risks, but are prepared to use an amber necklace which they genuinely think gives off a pain reliving chemical (it doesn't, actually) without knowing the safe dosage or th amount given off or whether it's safe for babies...... Just bizarre.

ExBrightonBell Tue 13-Aug-13 14:04:14

I would point out, worldgonecrazy, that we don't know what kind of overdoses of paracetamol those 26 were. I strongly suspect that the majority would be accidental overdoses eg children consuming calpol or similar without their parents deliberately giving it to them. Although, to be fair, I have no evidence of that.

There is an obvious choking/strangulation risk from putting a necklace/bracelet on a baby - the fact that there are no reports available via Google does not mean that it is not a risk. I personally would not take that very small risk given that amber teething necklaces cannot have any pain relieving effects.

Seb101 Tue 13-Aug-13 14:25:32

Amber necklaces are individually knotted, so if they broke the beads would not be all over the cot. They are designed to snap easily under pressure, so if it got caught somehow ( and I don't really see how that would happen) but possible I guess, it would snap before any strangulation took place. The risk of choking/strangulation are next to none IMO. Using as a anklet while asleep ( under clothes/in sleeping bag) avoids that possible risk anyway.

Seb101 Tue 13-Aug-13 14:27:54

Thetrufflehunter; agree with you; seemed to work for my baby, that's all i'm bothered about.

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