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December 12, 2013 06:23 PM

A Necklace For Teething

sioux falls, sd

When a child is going through teething, some parents will try just about anything to soothe their child's pain.  An alternative treatment is growing in popularity, but is it safe?

Five-month-old Silas is, for the most part, a very happy baby boy.

"I've never seen him be really fussy," Silas' mother, Michelle Macias, said.

That is since Silas' mother put an amber teething necklace on him when he was three months old.

"I've taken the necklace off a couple of times, and he gets really fussy," Macias said.

Necklace sellers claim the baby's body temperature warms the stone, releasing a pain-relieving substance.  That substance is then absorbed into the bloodstream.

"It works kind of like Tylenol does, but it also helps to calm their nerves, so that kind of helps them through teething also," Macias said.

So what do doctors think about the amber teething necklaces? The local physicians we talked to declined to be interviewed about them, saying there wasn't enough research to form an opinion.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement this year warning of a possible choking or strangulation hazard, not only with amber necklaces, but with any type of jewelry worn around a child's neck.

"Some parents will wrap it around their ankle and do it that way through the night," Macias said.

Macias also points out that the string in each necklace is knotted in between every bead.

"Which helps too, so if it were to break, they're not going to have beads everywhere," Macias said.

As far as whether the necklaces work, Macias says she's seen the difference it makes first hand.

"That necklace cost around $20. It's really worth it, instead of giving them all kinds of medicine and other things that aren't so great for your body," Macias said.

Instead of amber necklaces, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends several remedies for teething pain.  You can massage the gums of babies who are teething or give them things to chew on that are cold but safe, such as damp washcloths or rubber teething rings.

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