Mum warns against unexpected dangers of teething gel
All she wanted to do was to ease her 15-month-old's teething pains, but what happened next was every parent's worst nightmare.
No loving mum wants to ever see their child in pain. Even if it is part of their development — like teething —mums want their little ones to be as comfortable as possible. So we turn to things like teething gel to help our little ones. But is baby teething gel safe? Danielle Kapetanovic simply wanted to ease her baby girl’s teething pains, but then the unimaginable happened.
Following the advice of a friend, the mum purchased baby teething gel formulated for nighttime use. She applied less than a pea-sized amount on her baby’s gums, as instructed.
“Chloe immediately turned red, started kicking, got one or two screams in, and 10 to 15 seconds after the [gel] touched her gums she became unresponsive,” writes Danielle in a Facebook post, which has been shared over 100,000 times.
Continuing, she described how her baby girl’s “eyes locked in a dead stare, she became limp and stopped breathing. She turned blue.”
The horrified mum “grabbed her and put her against (her) body, hitting her back trying to wake her up, but no response.”
She immediately tried performing CPR on her unconscious baby as her husband called 911.
“I was screaming. It’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me,” she told People in an interview.
To her relief, her baby girl regained consciousness about half a minute later. Later checkups revealed that the incident didn’t harm the little girl in any way.
However, their frightening experience highlights the dangers of teething gels, specifically because of their benzocaine content.
The concerned mum took to Facebook to “warn other parents about the foreseeable misuse of this product due to what I see as defective advertising.”
Since the product is marketed for babies, it’s easy for other mums to “make the same mistake.”
“This product is incredibly misleading (look at the age of the child on the box) and should be properly labeled with a large warning or simply removed from the shelves and not advertised for babies. Please don’t put your kids at risk,” she urges in the post.
“I read the words on the label, I know what it says,” she explained. But she also stresses how what the “manufacturer says directly conflicts with what they do.
“The manufacturer has placed a picture of a baby on the front and placed the product in the baby aisle of stores or in baby sections of online retailers,” she explains.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against over-the-counter pain medication to babies under the age of two without a doctor’s advice.
This is because of the risk of metheglobinemia, a rare blood disorder which basically blocks oxygen supply, causing symptoms like cyanosis (bluish skin), nausea, and loss of consciousness, among others.
Mums and dads should be extra careful when introducing any new substance to their little ones.
If you’re not comfortable with using teething gel, then there are home remedies you can try to ease your growing baby’s teething pains. But even these common home remedies should be given upon the advice of your paediatrician.
- Beef jerky. This tough and flavourful meat can help teething babies manage pain. Care must be taken, however, as they could be choking hazards.
- Chilled banana. Giving your little one small, chilled pieces of banana can help ease teething woes. Make sure to watch them closely, though!
- Amber teething beads. These therapeutic beads apply just the right amount of pressure on the gums. It also contains succinic acid, which is believed to control swelling and alleviate pain.
- Vanilla extract. Rub a minimal amount on your baby’s gums for natural pain relief.
- Cool washcloth. This tried-and-tested remedy eases pain. You can even knot the edges for added pressure.
- Ice slushy. You can serve this flavoured or unflavoured. Either way, it is one of the best ways to bring down inflammation and ease pain during teething.
- Chilled carrots. Having your baby munch on chilled carrots promises soothing pain relief. Make sure no pieces break off, though, as they might cause choking!
- Toothbrush. Simply chewing on a toothbrush or brushing their gums back and forth can help growing toddlers get through the teething stage painlessly.
What other ways do you manage teething pains, mums and dads? Let us know in the comments below!