Quite often, mothers want to soothe a teething baby by rubbing numbing medications on their child’s gums—but if the FDA is to be believed, half of these can be potentially harmful for your child’s health.
The FDA advises parents to stay away from drugs containing viscous lidocaine and benzocaine products for children below two, except under the advice and supervision of a healthcare professional.
What The FDA Says
According to the FDA, if your baby is teething and in pain, do not use the following to soothe your baby.
- Over-the-counter mouth-numbing benzocaine products should never be used for babies under two. Even though rare, it can lead to a fatal condition known as methemoglobinemia, in which the amount of oxygen that is carried through the baby’s bloodstream gets heavily reduced. As a result, your baby’s skin can turn blue, he’d be tired and might even have breathing troubles.
- Prescription drugs such as lidocaine viscous can cause serious harm to the baby’s health and can be life-threatening in worst cases. An overdose can lead to severe heart and brain problems, seizures, vomiting, difficulty in vision, drowsiness, and convulsions.
Safe Teething Remedies
Experts advise that teething should be treated as a normal part of growing up and over-the-counter medications should be avoided at all costs. Here’s what is safe and worth trying:
- Freeze a teething ring and give it to your baby whenever he looks in pain.
- Use your finger, or a clean, damp washcloth to rub your baby’s gums.
- Give your baby a chilled carrot stick to chew on.