Amber necklace

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A beautiful choking hazard.
Against allopathy
Alternative medicine
Icon alt med alt.svg
Clinically unproven

Amber necklaces worn by infants and toddlers is a form of parenting woo. Some parents believe that amber worn on the skin can prevent colic, fussiness, and other issues in infants and toddlers. Typically it is worn as a "choker" style necklace around the child, or sometimes as a bracelet or anklet.

While there's nothing wrong with appreciating pretty jewelry, amber has no healing properties, and beaded jewelry poses a choking hazard to young children. At least one child has died as a result.

False claims[edit]

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. While there is succinic acid in amber, it is trapped inside and will not rub off into 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.[1] Although succinic acid is sometimes used as a food additive for flavor modification,[2] it has limited, if any, analgesic properties.[3] If you want to constantly low-dose medicate your child, why not make make them a handmade necklace out of paracetamol pills instead?

Besides analgesia, many other unsubstantiated claims have been made for succinic acid, including effects on the nervous system, cellular respiration, cold prevention, arthritis, and "cleanser".[4]

Risks[edit]

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.[5] His grieving mother sued Etsy for misrepresenting the necklace's clasp, which was advertised as being able to come undone if the necklace was pulled too tight.[6][7]

Children under 5 should not wear beaded necklaces or bracelets.[8][9]

In December 2018, FDA issued a warning against the use of teething necklaces.[10]

Benefits[edit]

  • Placebo… for the parent.
  • Amber necklace salespeople get to make a cheap, dishonest living.
  • …and that's about all.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]