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benzocaine and teething babies

Benzocaine for Teething Babies: Health Risk

FDA reissues warning about Benzocaine gels and liquids used to relieve teething pain in children under 2 due to risk of rare but serious disease methemoglobinemia (not enough oxygen is carried in the bloodstream). Products include Orajel, Baby Orajel, Hurricane, Anbesol, and Orabase.

Signs and symptoms of this rare (29 reported cases of benzocaine gel related cases since 2006, 19 of which were children, 15 of which occurred in children under 2) include: pale, gray, or blue colored skin, lips, nail beds, fatigue, confusion, shortness of breath, headache, light-headness, and rapid heart rate. In serious cases, death can occur. Symptoms can occur within minutes-hours, after the first or repeated uses. Seek medical attention immediately by calling 911.

Try a teething ring or gently massaging your child's gums instead of benzocaine gels and liquids.