Amber necklaces being worn by infants and toddlers is a form of parenting woo. Some parents believe that amber worn on the skin can prevent colic and fussiness in infants and toddlers. Typically it is worn as a "choker" style necklace around the child, or sometimes as a bracelet or anklet. The purported mechanism is that amber contains succinic acid, which acts as an analgesic, and that the warmth of the skin releases the succinic acid into the skin. However, this is ludicrous. There is succinic acid in amber but it is trapped inside the amber and does not leach into the skin. Amber is in fact famous for being inert — changing very little over millions of years, which is why one can find perfectly preserved ancient organisms in amber. Although succinic acid is sometimes used as a food additive for flavor modification, it has limited if any analgesic properties. If you want to constantly low-dose medicate your child why not make make them a handmade necklace out of paracetamol pills instead?
Beaded necklaces of any kind present both a strangulation and a choking hazard. In 2016 a child in Florida died after being strangled in his sleep by an amber teething necklace. Children under 5 should not wear beaded necklaces or bracelets.
In December 2018, FDA issued a warning against the use of teething necklaces.
- Placebo… for the parent.
- Amber necklace salespeople get to make a cheap, dishonest living.
- …and that's about all.
- Amber Waves of Woo by John Snyder (April 11, 2014) Science-Based Medicine
- Amber Teething Necklaces: A Caution for Parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Infants wearing teething necklaces
- See the Wikipedia article on Amber.
- See the Wikipedia article on succinic acid.
- The Many Medical Uses for Succinic Acid Baltic Wonder
- Boy's strangling death at Fontana daycare sparks investigation, ABC7, 11 Oct 2016
- Amber Teething Necklaces Pose Choking Hazard by Roni Jacobson (October 11, 2013 10:14 am) The New York Times.
- *Amber Teething Necklaces: A Caution for Parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics