Sanford, FL, July 28, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggested using a baby teether as a safer alternative to prescription analgesics that parents and caregivers often use on infants and toddlers for instant teething relief. The government agency has recently issued a warning to the public (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm402240.htm) about the dangers of using over-the-counter medication to soothe the gums of teething babies. These gel-like solutions contain viscous lidocaine or benzocaine, which are commonly prescribed to adults, but likely fatal to children aged 6 months to 3 years old.
According to the FDA, babies who were given medication with lidocaine or benzocaine have ended up in hospitals or died. Since it can be administered through the help of a doctor, nurse or any medical professional, the danger isn't in the substance itself, but on the misguided application of the analgesic. Parents and caregivers are horrified to realize they've caused their infant or toddler to overdose on the anesthetic. Other adverse effects of using OTC teething remedies include stomatitis, which happens when a baby accidentally ingests the gel or liquid solution.
In 2011, the FDA also warned the public (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm250024.htm) about methemoglobinemia, which is a rare but life-threatening medical condition that develops when a child has been exposed to benzocaine medication for some time. This condition lowers the amount of oxygen that's carried by the blood to the brain. Too low and it results in brain injuries, seizures, heart problems, or worse - the loss of an innocent life.
Rather than rely on pain relieving drugs, parents are advised to look for safer options, such as choosing the best teething toys that are non-toxic, BPA, PVC and phthalate-free. A prime example is the EcoGreenBee infant top teething toys, which has an ideal mix of soft and hard textures with striped and raised bumps for your baby's chewing pleasure. The ideal teether also has a ribbon with an attached clasp at the end to prevent accidental drops to the floor where dirt and bacteria abound.
Don't let the baby chomp on a frozen teether though. The freezing temperature can cause intense pain to the already swollen gums. Instead, let the toy chill in the fridge. Feeding your baby ice cold yogurt, pureed fruit or applesauce can also help with teething symptoms.
The FDA report also strongly pushes for a new boxed warning label requirement on oral medications prescribed for pain relief as well as revisions to the sections for 'Dosage and Administration' and 'Warnings' provided in fine print.