Experts: Pain treatment dangerous on babies’ gums

Pediatric experts at Hasbro Children’s Hospital are warning parents against using topical pain medications medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, on infants as they can be harmful and cause injury to children. More

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Experts: Pain treatment dangerous on babies’ gums

Posted 8/11/14

PROVIDENCE – When babies are teething everyone is stressed – babies and parents. And in an attempt to soothe their baby’s pain, many parents often turn to topical pain medications to provide pain relief. But the pediatric experts at Hasbro Children’s Hospital are warning parents against using these medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, on infants as they can be harmful and cause injury to children.

“Teething is a normal part of an infant’s life and can be treated without the use of medication,” says Donald McKaig, medication quality and safety specialist at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “Topical numbing medications rubbed on your child’s gums can be harmful if too much is used and the child swallows too much.”

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the dangers of lidocaine for infants’ teething pain. Viscous lidocaine is a topical numbing medication that is only available by prescription. Lidocaine is not approved for use in infants for relief of teething pain and should, in fact, never be used in infants.

In 2011, the FDA warned that when used on babies for teething pain benzocaine products can lead to a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia. Some of the common names of products that contain this ingredient include Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase and various store brands.

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