Teething aches and it can keep aching for a long time for the little ones in our lives. As kids and as parents we can all testify to that. So, it is understandable that we want to intervene to help out our cute little tykes. One set of products out there for this purpose are teething biscuits. Most of these are just hard cookies that the infant or toddler can gnaw on providing sensory distraction from the teething pain. However, some products have added agents.
The FDA has issued a warning and suggested recalling a group of infant/toddler teething products that have belladonna as a component due to a large number of adverse event reports including ten deaths. The affected products are marketed by Hylands and CVS. If you have any teething products from these companies, Pediatric Associates of Northern Colorado suggests you check the package to make sure they do not have belladonna.
Belladonna is a plant extract that blocks the action of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. In the intended minute quantities in these products it should not cause any measurable physiologic effects, but because of manufacturing variances, some of these teething products have higher than intended levels of belladonna. For this reason, Hylands stopped manufacturing the product in October to address these concerns. This most recent interruption in manufacturing is just the most recent of several problems with these types of products.
There are good alternatives to teething tablets for teething pain. Anything that rubs your baby’s gums will provide distraction to the pain. Ways to do this are to let them chew your finger, change the food textures that your baby is eating, apply a cool washcloth or use teething ring. For many babies, a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen before naps and bedtime can make a big difference.
Teething is not a life-threatening condition. Sure, your baby is uncomfortable. But is it really worth trying something that may not be safe?