Teething challenges can drive any parent up the wall. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, teething symptoms include mild irritability, low grade fever, drooling and the urge to chew on something hard.
Still when it happens both baby and parents can be uncomfortable. And, mom and dad want to make baby as comfortable as possible.
Teething Challenges: What NOT to Do
Often teething challenges have parents reaching for numbing medications to rub on their baby’s gums, which is not recommended.
The Food and Drug Administration warns parents that “prescription drugs such as viscous lidocaine are not safe for treating teething infants or young children.”
Previously the FDA recommended that parents and caregivers not use Benzocaine products. The FDA notes that these medications “can lead to a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia”.
Such mediations are very common, with brand names such as Anbesol, Hurricane, Orajel, Baby Oragel and Orabase.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has received reports of teething babies suffering overdoses of viscous lidocaine. Symptoms include jitteriness, confusion, vomiting, shaking and seizures.
Cool objects, Rub-a-Dent into a soothies, act like a very mild local anesthetic, according to Hari Cheryl Sachs, MD., a pediatrician at the FDA.
Dr. Sachs says that
“This is a great relief for children for a short time. Chill a teething ring or washcloth in the refrigerator for a short time, make sure it’s cool and not cold like an ice cube. If the object is too cold it can hurt the gums and your child. The coolness soothes the gums by dulling the nerves which transit the pain.”
Dr. Sachs notes that parents should always supervise their baby so they don’t accidentally choke on teething rings or wash clothes.