Teething is one of the hardest stages of parenting for a lot of us. Those teeth sure make it hard on our little humans! And it's heartbreaking to watch them experience pain or discomfort, knowing there's not a whole lot you can do to help them. In an effort to alleviate some of that pain and discomfort, parents will try any number of remedies, both homeopathic and over-the-counter. Gum gels, pain relievers, teething toys, even frozen fruits or washcloths - some of them work, some of them don't, but many of us have tried them all!
However, a lot of remedies should be used with extreme caution. You all might remember when Hyland's teething tablets were recalled by the FDA over mislabeling of ingredients. Orajel teething gels were also recalled because of rare but deadly side effects of the main ingredient, benzocaine. You've also likely seen amber teething necklaces being used and sold on various marketplaces. As cute as they are, using a necklace on a baby is potentially dangerous, and in some cases, ends in heartbreaking tragedy. A mom in California lost her 18-month-old son after the teething necklace he was wearing strangled him in his sleep. Now, she's suing Etsy and speaking out against the dangers of teething necklaces.
Danielle Morin received the teething necklace as a gift from a friend, and her son Deacon was wearing it during his nap at Little Impressions Daycare in Fontana, CA in October 2016. At some point during the nap, the necklace tightened around Deacon's neck, causing him to suffocate (the screw clasp on the necklace wouldn't open, and it's not known why the necklace was not cut off).
Deacon was rushed to the hospital, where he was placed in life support. He was removed from life support and passed away five days later. It is an unimaginable tragedy, and our hearts go out to Danielle and her entire family.
Danielle filed the lawsuit against Etsy for selling a faulty necklace, and is hoping her story makes parents aware of the dangers of teething necklaces. Last December, the FDA issued a warning against using the popular necklaces after another child was strangled after wearing one while sleeping. In a statement, Etsy expressed sympathy for what happened to Deacon, but says that any lawsuits should be filed against the individual seller, and that they are not liable.
A spokesperson said, "While we understand the desire to take action, Etsy is a platform and did not make or directly sell this item." Danielle claims that since she received the necklace as a gift from a friend who purchased it on Etsy, she did not agree to the terms releasing Etsy from liability for items sold on the platform.