What is the big deal about Amber? 

Ok, this is going to be slightly more of a annoyed rant then an informative blog post. Working in the children’s retail industry, we sell Amber bead necklaces for children to wear to help with pain relief due to teething. Little got his first two teeth at 4 months old, and he’s worn an Amber necklace since he was 11 weeks old-with absolutely no issues what so ever.

I know the jury is out in regards to whether the claims of the Amber helping with pain relief are legit or not. Amber is a fossilized tree resin that has succinic acid in it. When worn against the skin, the Amber is warmed by the body, and minuscule amounts are absorbed and help with inflammation, drooling, blotchy cheeks and restless babies. The way I look at it is that, in my books, it’s a much better option then dosing Little with Tylenol or other medication every time he was struggling with the results of teething. In my opinion, they work. I’ve taken it off Little for certain periods of time, and to me, the changes were like night and day.

Now, I’m not trying to force you to believe they work-that’s your personal decision to make. What irritates me is how so many people are now up in arms that these necklaces are pretty much evil. A customer recently shamed me for having them in store because apparently they’ve been banned in some European countries because as she said-“you can’t control how much chemical is entering the child”. Well, after doing some extensive research, her claim turned up to be nothing but hogwash. I found absolutely no information in regards to anything about them being banned due to “chemical” problems. (Side note: it’s not a chemical when it’s something that is naturally occurring)

What I did find however is that they have recently been banned in some European countries and Australia due to the fact that they pose a “strangulation risk”. Now this is where it really irritates me. If consumers would choose to educate themselves, they’d learn that if worn and used properly and guidelines are followed, these necklaces don’t pose a risk at all.

  • On the brand we carry, there are specific warnings to caregivers that the necklace/bracelet/anklet should not be left on the child unattended. Meaning, take it off for naps, bedtime etc when the child is out of your watchful eye for extended periods of time, which is something we also always inform our customers about when they purchase the beads from us. 
  • It is also important that the necklace/anklet/bracelet be sized properly,that it not be obviously too tight, but also not too slack so that the child is able to pull it into their mouths, or that if worn as a necklace, it’s not able to be looped around objects, arms etc. 
  • Also, if you look into the details of the beads you are purchasing, you should be sure to buy one where each bead is individually knotted, and that the beads are sized to be passable-meaning, heaven forbid, if one was able to come off, the whole necklace isn’t going to fall apart, and little isn’t going to have a meal of Amber beads. It also means, if swallowed, the bead is going to pass right through the other end without incident. Also, be sure to buy one with a “breakaway” clasp, meaning that if any force strong enough to cause strangulation is put on the necklace, the clasp will break open.

Most importantly, make your own decisions on what you feel is best for your child and your family. If you are uncomfortable with the idea as a whole, then don’t purchase one. It goes back to the old saying “if everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?”

 I just urge people to educate themselves on products and not just go with the crowd. And I also urge people not to judge other lovely mama’s who choose differently then you-you may not agree with their decisions, and they may not agree with yours-but we’re all in this motherhood journey together, trying to do the best we can. Let’s lift each other up and support, not judge and bash. 🙂 


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