Do red cheeks, fussy tears, irritation, agitation and discomfort sound about right?
You walk in to a shop on your friend’s recommendation, plunk down $20 for a child-sized necklace of individually knotted baltic amber resin beads and hear something about succinic acid being absorbed. You put it on your child and life is glorious. Perhaps it sounds too good to be true.
I’ll admit I was a skeptic.
When I’m toting my littlest around and someone asks about the necklace he wears I share it “takes the edge off” and how I notice symptoms of irritability if I forget to put it back on. Then, classic for the un-sell, I also share my doctor frowns when she sees my child wearing it.
What it comes down to is that it works for us. I’ve never had to dose my child with acetaminophen for teething related symptoms. The necklace is light enough my child never plays with it tucked away under his shirt collar.
CBC News stopped in to the shop today to ask our opinion and hear from the parenting side of things as Health Canada’s warning has recirculated on the use and claims of such necklaces.
While the medical community has trouble proving or researching the benefits of amber, decades of use in Canada and centuries of use in European countries speak for a widespread community of amber advocates.
For more reading on amber check your local library or follow this document for a thorough read on a history of amber’s uses.
(Insert picture of happy child wearing amber necklace.)
• remove the necklace or bracelet when the infant is unattended, even if it is only for a short period of time
• remove the necklace or bracelet while the infant sleeps at day or night
• do not allow the infant to mouth or chew the necklace or bracelet
• consider using alternate forms of pain relief
• seek medical advice if you have concerns about your child’s health and wellbeing.
Are there any disadvantages?
Amber beads are strung on a necklace in an average of 12″ length. This is a good size so as not to be drawn up and into the mouth nor hang down low enough to catch on things. The beads are no bigger than a pea.
Many parents choose to wrap the necklace around a child’s wrist or ankle instead of the neck.
The manufacturers of these necklaces do their best to ensure their products are as safe as possible. The clasp screws together, the beads are individually knotted. Nurtured purchases these straight from a manufacturer as to avoid fakes or poor workmanship.
If the string breaks, one of the beads will fall off. If it is swallowed, amber is a natural tree resin and non-toxic (also pass-able).
A string of any sort is a choking hazard. This is not a toy nor a teether.
The beads are to be worn against the skin not chewed on.
Some parents report no change in their little ones. If this is the case you’ve spent $20 on a cute necklace that makes your kid look like a mellow surfer. A large number of parents come back with praise and words of appreciation for carrying such a simple item.
These parents also tend to look wonderfully replenished from the rest over their little one’s teething temperament.