If your child is teething like a tiger, read on. Rubber teething rings may be your best answer when it comes to relief.
This spring, the U.S Food and Drug Administration ordered that certain medicated teething products stop being marketed to consumers . Why? They pose a deadly risk to infants and children.
Over-the-counter (OTC) teething products that contain benzocaine are the target.
These products, sold under the names Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricaine, Orabase, Orajel and Topex, as well as store brands and generics, can spell serious trouble.
Benzocaine has previously been associated with methemoglobinemia and using it results in elevated levels of methemoglobin in the blood, the FDA states.
In infants and toddlers, this can lead actually lead to death. The ingredient causes the amount of oxygen carried through the blood to be greatly and dangerously reduced.
Yet, scarily enough, a number of oral health products contain this popular pain reliever treating everything from sore gums to sore throats, canker sores and other irritations of the mouth.
What symptoms should you look for in your child?
If they’ve been exposed to benzocaine they can surface after using the product for the first time, or following later uses. Some appear within minutes and others 1 to 2 hours after using benzocaine. They include having pale, gray- or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; headache; light-headedness; and a rapid heart rate.
If you encounter any of these, seek immediate medical help.
Alternative sources of relief are safer. Experts recommend parents use a firm teething ring to soothe children’s teething symptoms, or gently massage the gums with a finger.