The tests found that, “The product failed to satisfy BS EN71-1:2011 (Safety of toys – part 1: mechanical and physical properties) when tested in accordance with paragraph 8.7 (Impact Test), in that several beads shattered and detached. The bead fragments fitted wholly inside the small parts cylinder of dimensions specified in paragraph 8.2. These components pose a potential choking/inhalation hazard to a child under 36 months.”
How do I know this? Because I bought one of the damn things, and like many of the various bits of baby tat I've been suckered into purchasing over the years, it turned out to be a complete waste of money.
Of course, like most
suckers parents, I bought it in a state of sleep deprived desperation. A few other mothers had told me they really worked, so I thought it was worth a punt, and would willingly have spent ten times more than the tenner it cost me in the hope of a good night's sleep.
But the more I thought about it, the stronger the smell of BS became. Firstly, the anecdotal evidence was meaningless, particularly when you consider that 'teething', a bit like, 'colic', is a bit of a catch-all term used to describe a variety of inexplicable baby troubles, from sleeplessness, to fractiousness, to constant sucking, to wanting to be held 24/7. All very real, all very hard work, all very normal baby behaviour. And all, as every mother knows, liable to disappear as quickly and inexplicably as they came - thus anyone who claims that a necklace has 'fixed' them isn't really thinking very analytically.
Then I read this article, which quite rightly points out that, if the necklaces actually do work by by releasing succinic acid, an analgesic, into the skin as many claim, this isn't necessarily very safe either, as just because a medicine is perceived as 'alternative' or 'natural', this doesn't make it safe in random and uncontrolled doses. Add to this the safety concern of a necklace on a baby, that in some cases, such as Wee Rascals, even has to be recalled, and it's starting to sound less and less like a good idea.
But what really put an end to the fad for me was the look of them: on some babies they seemed cute, but on mine, I couldn't help feeling it looked a bit tacky, and that I might as well have got myself a complementary slogan tee-shirt that read: I've Got A Bad Case of The Emperor's New Clothes, or perhaps a more brief and simple: Baa.
Amber Teething Necklaces made a sheep out of me, and thousands of other usually intelligent and well-read parents, desperate enough for a few hours sleep to part with their hard earned cash and even put their baby at risk.
If you're struggling with a teething baby, and looking for an alternative approach, why not try this method instead. Picture a young Robert Redford, in a shit hot cowboy outfit, stepping towards you in the dry heat of a small desert town at cocktail hour. Looking up at you from under the brim of his hat he drawls:
"I'm sorry lady. There ain't no fix for it. You're just gonna have to ride it out."
There. That'll make you smile at 4am.
Bon courage. This too will pass.