A safe way to relieve annoying teething pain in children A safe way to relieve annoying teething pain in children

A safe way to relieve annoying teething pain in children

A safe way to relieve annoying teething pain in children

Teething usually begins at around 4 to 7 months of age, when baby teeth begin to form, causing pain and making it difficult for the child to sleep or eat.

Typical signs of teething include "mild irritability, low-grade fever (no fever), drooling, and a desire to chew on something solid."

The FDA says that using painkillers like benzocaine, lidocaine, or similar treatments is not the answer to teething pain. It warns that “these products can be dangerous to children and can lead to serious injury and even death.”

Common brand names of over-the-counter oral health products that contain benzocaine include Anbesol, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricane, Orabase, Orajel, and Topix.

Because of their potentially worrisome side effects, health experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend avoiding these pain relievers as much as possible during teething, explaining that “use of benzocaine products can lead to a serious, sometimes fatal, condition called methemoglobinemia, in which the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen is significantly reduced.”

Likewise, products containing lidocaine are also unsafe for infants. The FDA warns that they “can cause serious harm, including heart problems, serious brain injuries, and even death. Additionally, lidocaine topical viscous oral solution can cause seizures in infants and young children when too much is used or if accidentally swallowed.”

The FDA also noted that some teething accessories, such as amber teething necklaces, can also be dangerous to babies, with various reports of them causing choking in babies.

So, what helps facilitate the teething process safely?

According to the FDA, gently rub and massage your baby's gums with a (washed and clean) finger to help relieve pain.

It is also advisable to give them a rubber teething ring to chew on. However, make sure that the ring is not filled with liquids or hard for the child, and it is preferable that it is refrigerated, not frozen, to reduce discomfort.

The FDA explains that if teething rings are "too hard, they can hurt a baby's gums. Be sure to supervise babies so they don't accidentally choke on the teething ring."


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