Teething is a normal part of every baby’s development. If teething’s giving your baby the grumps, you may consider purchasing an over-the-counter pain medication, such as a topical gel. Think again, because the FDA has just issued a warning against topical pain relievers.
According to the FDA, these numbing products can be unsafe for the baby’s gums. Here’s why:
Babies can easily swallow teething gel by accident. Also, parents who believe teething gels are safe may apply the gel repeatedly, put it in baby’s formula, or soak their pacifier with it. All of this can lead to accidental overdose. Babies suffering from an overdose of viscous lidocaine in teething medications have been reported to suffer jitteriness, brain injury, heart problems, confusion, vision problems, vomiting, shaking, seizures, and even death. Benzocaine products, like Baby Orajel and Anbesol, can lead to methemglobinemia, a serious disorder that reduces the amount of oxygen carried in the bloodstream. For oral prescriptions with viscous lidocaine, the FDA has issued a Boxed Warning and stricter dosing requirements.
It’s frightening to think that unsafe drugs can be readily available to well-meaning caregivers. Below are Alameda Pediatric Dentistry’s tips for surviving the teething phase safely and sanely.
Offer baby a clean washcloth cooled with running water to teeth on. Pop your teething ring in the freezer for a few minutes before offering to baby. Keep a look out for potential leaks. Gently rub your baby’s gums with your finger. Watch carefully for broken-off pieces as baby munches on a chilled carrot or cucumber.