15-Month-Old ‘Stopped Breathing’ After Mom Used Common Teething Remedy

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When a Virginia mother couldn’t find relief for her teething 15-month-old daughter, she decided to take the advice of others and tried a common teething remedy. Unfortunately, only seconds after she gave it to her daughter, her child went limp and stopped breathing. Now, she’s warning other parents not to make the same mistake.

 15-Month-Old ‘Stopped Breathing,’ After Mom Used Common Teething Remedy Parents Love
Danielle Kapetanovic (left), a stock photo of a crying baby for visual representation only (right) (Photo Credit: Danielle Kapetanovic/Facebook, Ellie Nakazawa/Flickr)

Danielle Kapetanovic, the mother of 15-month-old Chloe, was heartbroken watching her child suffer through teething. After trying several different relief options and failing, she decided to follow what her friends and family were recommending — Baby Orajel.

After experiencing the horrifying incident, she decided to post an urgent warning on Facebook. She wanted to warn her loved ones to keep them from making the same mistake and ultimately have the product removed from store shelves.

Danielle explained that she bought the nighttime version of the product and decided to apply it to her daughter’s gums at bedtime. However, her daughter didn’t find relief, and neither did she. Instead, the next thirty seconds were the most terrifying moments in either of their lives.

“The directions say apply a ‘pea size’ — I put less than a pea size on my finger and applied it to her gums,” she explained, according to Love What Matters. “Chloe immediately turned red, started kicking, got one or two screams in, and 10-15 seconds after the Orajel touched her gums she became unresponsive. Her eyes locked in a dead stare, she became limp and stopped breathing. She turned blue.”

No parent wants to experience what Danielle did over the next few moments. She explains that her instincts kicked in, and she began to hit her daughter’s back, trying to wake her up. Sadly, Chloe didn’t respond. She admits that she was panicked but ran her into her own bedroom, laid her on the bed, and began to breathe into her mouth. Meanwhile, her husband, Mike, immediately began to call 9-1-1.

“Thankfully she woke up and started screaming and crying after maybe 15-20 seconds in total, which felt like an eternity. The ambulance arrived and EMT’s checked her out and determined she was okay,” the mother recalled. However, she quickly learned the truth about the product she had given her daughter — Baby Orajel has been known to do this to some children under the age of two.

Just a few online searches exposed that many other parents, dating back to 2008, had experienced the same exact type of incident. Their baby became unresponsive seconds after the application of the Orajel, went limp, turned blue, and then become responsive after a few more seconds passed. Danielle also learned the horrifying fact that the FDA warns against giving babies Benzocaine, which is the active ingredient in Orajel.

According to her Facebook post, “The use of benzocaine gels and liquids for mouth and gum pain can lead to a rare but serious — and sometimes fatal — condition called methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the bloodstream is greatly reduced.”

Danielle continued, “Children under 2 years of age are of particular risk, with almost 80% of reported benzocaine gel-related cases of methemoglobinemia having occurred in children under 2.”

⚠️⚠️⚠️⚠️ I don’t like to put personal information related to my kids out there but I feel compelled to warn other…

Posted by Danielle Kapetanovic on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Thankfully, Chloe has been checked by her doctor, and she is expected to be fine. However, Danielle is adamant about ensuring no one else faces the nightmare she went through because the potential temporary relief that Orajel provides a baby is not worth the risk.

Unfortunately, many people are simply unaware of the dangers of Benzocaine and are unintentionally putting their children in harm’s way. However, as parents, it is our responsibility to ensure that what you are giving our children is safe. In fact, the FDA has issued a warning of the potential risks, and Orajel has even reported this information on their website.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the public that the use of benzocaine, the main ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) gels and liquids applied to the gums or mouth to reduce pain, is associated with a rare, but serious condition,” the FDA report states. “This condition is called methemoglobinemia and results in the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream being greatly reduced. In the most severe cases, methemoglobinemia can result in death.”

It’s imperative that we share this post with our friends and family to ensure that no child or parent is forced to go through this experience. Although it may be safe for older children and adults to take, the temporary relief it offers a teething baby is not worth the risk it poses. It’s time to be smart and keep our kids safe. Teething may be painful, but it will be over within just a short time.