Please be aware that the FDA is advising parents to stop using all over-the-counter benzocaine- containing teething medications. Popular brands include Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricaine, Orabase, Orajel, Topex, as well as store brands and generics. Teething products that contain benzocaine pose a "serious risk to infants and children" and offer no benefit, according to the FDA warning. The FDA said there is “accumulating evidence” that teething gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges that contain benzocaine could cause the fatal blood condition methemoglobinemia. Methemoglobinemia is a dangerous condition caused by elevated levels of methemoglobin in the blood. Symptoms include pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips, and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; headache; lightheadedness; and rapid heart rate. The agency is asking manufacturers to stop marketing the products for pediatric use. Instead, the FDA and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend a firm but not frozen rubber teething ring. Parents can also gently massage the child’s gums, and give Motrin (if over 6 months of age) or Tylenol if needed. As always please call your pediatrician or schedule an appointment for any concerns or questions.
If your infant or child is taking liquid Vitamin D drops, please note that there has been a recent recall as a precautionary measure due to a concern of possible product contamination. Please click on the following link from the FDA for more information, and to make sure your child’s drops are not part of the recall.
Please be aware that Tylenol brand chewable tabs will be transitioning to a single strength of 160mg. Currently, the chewable tabs on the market include an 80mg strength (referred to as “Children’s” Tylenol chewable tabs) and a 160mg strength (referred to as “Jr” Tylenol chewable tabs). When the new tabs are introduced, they will be in a single strength of 160mg, will be scored in half, and will be referred to as “Children’s Tylenol Chewables.”
If you have any questions about the doseage of Tylenol for your child, please visit the section “What is a Fever?” below for a handy Tylenol dosing chart. As always, you can call any of our offices for advice as well.
There has recently been a recall of a small number of EpiPen and Epipen Jr auto-injectors due to the potential that the devices may contain a defective part that may result in the devices' failure to activate. Please check the lot number on your child's EpiPen or EpiPen Jr box to make sure your child's injector is not part of the recall. The Epipens were distributed between December 17, 2015 through July 1, 2016. Please click on the following link for further information.
As of January 2017, the FDA advised against the use of homeopathic teething tablets (ex: Hyland's), as these can contain a toxic substance called belladonna (also known as deadly nightshade) which has been linked to adverse events. The FDA initially issued a safety alert on teething tablets in 2010 based on inconsistent levels of belladonna in the tablets. Since then, there have been more than 400 reports of adverse events related to their use, including seizures and deaths, although it is unclear whether there was a direct correlation between the teething tablets and these outcomes. However, because a baby or young child's response to belladonna is unpredictable, it is not worth the unnecessary risk.
Instead of teething tablets, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests gently rubbing or massaging the gums with your finger, giving your child a cold and wet washcloth to chew on, using teething toys, or appropriately dosed pain medication. If you have any questions about teething or about safety of over the counter products for your child, please give us a call.