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Pharmacists ignore TGA warning on teething beads

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Pharmacists ignore TGA warning on teething beads

Queensland pharmacies are defying TGA warnings over use of amber teething necklaces and bracelets for children, by continuing to sell them.

As reported in the Caboolture Shire Herald, Lester Mitchell, a locum at Lillybrook United Discount Chemist, Kallangur, said: “We stock the adult and baby necklaces and we sell an awful lot of them.” 

In response to customer demand, Deception Bay Amcal Chemist has also started stocking the baby necklaces.
Ann Kennedy, retail manager at the pharmacy, said: “We had inquiries about them so we put them in.” 

Tanya Gosney, who runs Little Smiles Amber in Narangba, QLD, and sells around 2000 baltic amber necklaces per month says the products have anti-inflammatory effects.

“There is a natural acid found in the amber. When it warms on your skin it releases anti-inflammatories,” she said. 

Mrs Gosney said interest in amber necklaces had taken off in the past six months after a child was pictured wearing one in a Nurofen ad. 

However, a TGA spokesperson said there was no evidence the amber teething necklaces and bracelets reduced inflammation or provided natural relief from the symptoms of teething, immunity to infection or healing benefits. 

The spokesperson said 14 complaints about the advertising of amber teething necklaces and bracelets had been referred to the TGA's  Complaints Resolution Panel.

One advertiser has removed the therapeutic claims from its website, while another has ceased selling the product.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has also warned that testing proved that strangulation and choking were possible hazards.

In light of the warnings, Mrs Gosney said her business had taken steps to reduce risks by ensuring that beads were individually knotted, made at lengths to fit ‘snugly’ around the child’s neck so they could not be chewed, had a safety clasp and were lightweight.

She said the packaging also warned that the teething necklaces should only be worn under supervision.

Mrs Gosney said her biggest concern was that other retailers were not providing similar messages to the public on their own products.
“They’re not getting those warnings. Mums need to be aware of the consequences,” she said.


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