Many parents of teething children find themselves stumbling to the pharmacy or department store late at night, searching for something to alleviate the child's discomfort. For many parents, the solution is a teething ring: a hardened yet pliable piece of plastic that gives the child something to chew on and (hopefully) provides some measure of relief. However, using a teething ring can have serious unintended consequences. If your child is teething, be sure that you understand what it is, exactly, that can cause a teething ring to be dangerous.
Chemicals in the Teething Ring
Some teething rings are perfectly safe in terms of the materials used. However, many teething rings are not. This is especially true for those teething rings produced in countries where safety regulations are enforced in a lax manner (if they are enforced at all).
Some teething rings from China, for example, have paint on them which contains lead. Lead, as you likely already know, is a dangerous element when ingested, especially by a developing child. Even when the teething rings do not contain lead, they may contain other harmful chemicals designed to keep the plastic soft and pliable.
Some teething rings contain a fluid inside them. These can be placed in the refrigerator and chilled before placing them on the child's gum tissue. In theory, the cool temperature will help reduce discomfort. However, these liquid filled teething rings can burst, flooding the child's mouth with the fluid. Even if the fluid is only water this can be dangerous: the water can harbor dangerous bacteria which can sicken the child.
Fortunately, teething rings are not your only options. If you would like more information on teething aids, please feel free to contact us. We're here for you, and we're happy to help answer your questions.