Nigerian mothers have been advised not to give teething powder to their babies as the medication could have future adverse effects on them.

Dr Chinatu Ohiaeri, Consultant Paediatrician at the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, told the Press on Monday that parents should instead administer paracetamol syrup when their babies are teething. “Teething is a natural process; it can cause pain and irritation sometimes. But this can be managed by giving paracetamol syrup to relieve pain in those children.

“Because we do not know what is in the so called ‘teething powders’, it is not recommended for children.’’

Ohiaeri also advised parents to ensure that their children received the necessary immunisation, to prevent them from childhood diseases.

“Most mothers attribute diarrhoea to teething because during teething, the child puts everything that crosses his or her way in the mouth.

“Most of the diarrhoea cases seen in children are caused by bacteria; we immunise them against diarrhoea and so the incidence has reduced.’’

Ohiaeri urged parents not to expose their children to persons with cough in order to prevent them, especially the under-fives, from being infected with cough and catarrh.

She advised mothers to ensure that ventilation in the house was optimal, noting that children should be dressed properly with cotton vests and clothing.

Speaking in the same vein, another paediatrician, Dr Solomon Adeleke, said administering teething powder on babies could cause kidney failure in adulthood.

According to him, teething powder contains mercury which, he noted, was hazardous to health.

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