Baltic amber beads
Baltic amber beads are placed around a baby's neck or ankle to help soothe the pain of teething. Baltic amber contains between three and eight per cent succinic acid, which is said to have an analgesic effect by warming the baby's skin, reducing the pain of teething.
While RoSPA is not in a position to comment on the accuracy of these claims, concerns have been raised about amber teething necklaces representing a choking hazard. The main concern relates to the beads and clasps which can become detached. There are also inherent strangulation hazards associated with having any type of cord placed around a child's, and especially a baby's, neck.
RoSPA does not advocate any cord being placed around any baby's neck at any time. Our ongoing research into the risks posed by blind cords highlights just how quickly and easily young children can be accidentally strangled or hanged.
What is a safer alternative to baltic amber?
There is a wealth of options available to help soothe teething pain and RoSPA advocates the use of medically approved creams applied directly to the gums. RoSPA also recommends teethers and teething toys which are often filled with a liquid and are sometimes kept refrigerated before being given to a baby to chew on.
Above all, RoSPA advises parents to seek advice from health workers (even before the baby is born) on the best and safest ways of soothing teething pain.
What to do if you have concerns about baltic amber
If consumers have concerns about any products they have seen advertised, they should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service helpline on 08454 04 05 06.