Doctors weigh in on amber teething necklace trend

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- It was only a few months ago that a baby in California died after allegedly being strangled by the teething necklace he was wearing as slept.

If you're a new mom, you've likely heard of these necklaces with claims of providing pain relief for babies.

But do they actually work? And is the risk worth the suggested benefit?

Nineteenth-month-old Greta Goswick has always worn her amber teething necklace.

"I think she's only taken it off maybe once,” said Jessica Goswick.

Made of real Baltic amber, manufacturers say these necklaces release an oil when body heat is applied, which is said to help fight inflammation, specifically, when it comes to teething.

Many pediatricians are still on the fence.

"Based on the research, we don't see that they provide any benefit,” said Dr. Heidi Johnson with Boys Town Pediatrics in Omaha, Nebraska.

Dr. Johnson is a little concerned with the rise of this trend.

"Anytime an infant is wearing jewelry, we get a little nervous, just because there's that choking hazard or the strangulation hazard,” said Johnson.

"However, as a mom that's watched my daughter with it, I have no concerns,” said Goswick.

Many moms, like Goswick, have seen first-hand what a more natural approach can do for a teething baby.

"I just think it takes sort of the edge off the uncomfortability of it,” said Goswick.

Still, Dr. Johnson suggests alternative pain management, like having your baby chew on a cold wet wash cloth, teething toys and when things really get bad, a little Tylenol.

Dr. Johnson does still have advice for parents who still swear by the amber necklace:

"They should supervise their kids when they're wearing them and not have them wear them when they're sleeping,” said Johnson.

It's also recommended that if you do plan on purchasing one of these necklaces, that you buy it from a reputable source.

These necklaces should break under about 6 pounds of pressure and they should be double knotted between each bead to ensure that if a necklace does break, only one bead gets loose.

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