Is it Safe for Your Baby to Use Teething Gels?
Every baby undergoes a process known as teething and it can actually become quite painful for them. That being said, there are numerous products that were made just to help alleviate the pain and soreness that often comes with the natural phenomenon.
Teething gels were made in an attempt to help relieve the sores and the pain that your baby can go through whenever they get their first set of teeth. We are naturally inclined to provide relief to our babies which is why we usually give them these sorts of products.
However, keep in mind that you should be mindful of what you give to your baby because it could potentially be dangerous to their health.
One notion that many parents think about is if teething gels are safe for your baby to use. They are readily available and can usually be ordered from an online baby store, for example.
Well, in this article, I will shed some light on this issue so that parents will know and be aware of the potential dangers it could bring to your child.
Do Not Use Them for Babies Under 2 Years of Age
Most of the topical teething gels that you can find in the market contain an active ingredient known as Benzocaine. In the past, this has actually been the go-to pain relief when babies start teething. However, new research has compelled the FDA to advise parents not to use teething gels for children under 2 years of age.
That is because the active ingredient may cause a condition known as Methemoglobinemia. This condition is where the oxygen levels that are carried throughout your baby’s bloodstream gets hampered and gets reduced to dangerously low levels.
In fact, its symptoms may appear just hours after application. It includes blue-colored lips, skin, and it may even come with shortness of breath as well.
Now, the FDA did state that it can be safer to use once your children are above 2 years of age, but the operative word there is ‘safer’, which means that it could still potentially inflict damage to your baby, albeit not that high of a risk than younger children.
Do Not Use Prescription Teething Gels that Contain Lidocaine
Another common active ingredient that is found in some teething gels is Lidocaine and if you happen to get that before, do not use them on your baby at all. That is because Lidocaine is more viscous and it is very difficult to swallow. If left to their own devices, babies may try to swallow it and it can restrict their oxygen flow in the process.
In the past, homeopathic teething gels or tablets were okay, but in September 2016, the FDA now strongly advocates against its use. That is because homeopathic solutions typically contain some belladonna extract, which is a toxic plant that can prove to be dangerous to babies. It can affect their respiratory and cardiac systems so it is just best to avoid them.
In conclusion, teething gels that contain Benzocaine is okay if it is used for children above two years of age. Anything else is not permitted.