When your baby begins to teethe, the natural response of any parent is to remedy the pain and help soothe sore gums. Many mom and dads turn to purchasing over-the-counter pain relievers containing benzocaine, a local anesthetic, to provide instant relief. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released 2 consumer reports stating that benzocaine containing products and babies are not a good mix. Children under 2 years of age are at particular risk of developing a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia. This is a disorder in which the levels of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced and could turn fatal.
Since the FDA released its first of two warning reports in 2006, the agency has received 29 reports of incidences relating to benzocaine containing products and methemoglobinemia. More than half of those cases occurred in children under 2 years of age. Even though children are most at risk, adults can have serious side effects as well.
For these reasons, the FDA urges parents to pursue other natural remedies to calm their teething baby. Zarbee’s has gathered information from a number of sources and offers the following tips and advice for teething pain:
- Find a liquid-filled teether. Refrigerate so that the cold teether soothes and numbs baby’s sore gums.
- Massage those gums. With a clean finger gently rub your baby’s gums. Applying gentle pressure can help relieve pain.
- Prepare frozen bananas or carrots. Peel a banana, cut in halves, and put in freezer. The baby will be able to gum at it all day and the cold will lessen swelling.
- Ice a towel. Wrap some ice in a dishtowel and let baby gnaw away. The ice will calm swelling, soothe sore gums, and ease baby’s pain.
- If you’re looking for a different alternative consult your physician for other healthy ideas before buying benzocaine-containing products.
Make smart choices for all your products. Zarbee’s products are a safe and all natural option for soothing coughs and aching throats. Similarly, we believe that other reliable and safe products should be used for all your health needs.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Benzocaine and Babies: Not a Good Mix