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Doctors are warning parents not to give their children gum-numbing medications after a string of overdoses happened to children around teething age. Specifically, doctors are citing viscous lidocaine, a prescription mouth gel, as the culprit. So far, 22 toddlers have overdosed and/or died in 2014 due to the misuse of the drug. The FDA is also citing over-the-counter products such as Baby Orajel, Anbesol, Hurricaine and Orabase are to blame.

By itself, viscous lidocaine is typically used in adults to treat mouth sores that occur after chemotherapy. It would appear it’s not uncommon for parents, without a doctor's guidance to administer the gel to their children to help during teething. For children, viscous lidocaine can cause trouble breathing, and make it much easier for a child to breathe in food. It can also cause toxicity and affect the heart and nervous system.

While the dangers of prescription lidocaine may not surprise some, the unsafe use of over-the-counter products with the word “baby” in them may shock. The FDA warns these products should not be administered to children under the age of two, and preferably not to any kids at all. Signs of overdose in children include confusion, jitteriness, seizures, vision problems and vomiting. While teething can be painful for a tot, doctors remind parents that it is a normal part of infancy.

The FDA does not endorse any type of medicinal treatment for teething kids. Instead, they suggest things such as teething rings, wet washcloths or finger massages to soothe the gums. The cooling effect of teething rings or washcloths provides much relief to a teething child, CBS News reports. All that being said, a teething child can be very trying and sometimes it’s easier said than done to cope with.

Something always done in my family (and I’m sure others) is the popsicle trick. Buy a bunch of those popsicles with the clear plastic outside and snip a little hole in the top. The kid feels better instantly, and occasionally gets a bit of melted popsicle juice in his or her mouth. Everyone wins, and no one had to be drugged out to get a moment's peace!

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