Abuja - Dr Solomon Adeleke, a paediatrician, has advised parents against the use of teething powder for babies, as it can cause kidney failure in adulthood.
Adeleke, who works with University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, told the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that teething powder contained mercury, which is hazardous to the health.
He said, "Most of the time, they give it twice or thrice a day, the powder will then accumulate in the kidney, it destroys the kidney not at that natal age of the baby.
"This happens when the child is around 40 years; It is when they get to 40 years because the accumulation of leads to renal insufficiency, so we should be very careful about using teething powder.’’
The paediatrician said that diarrhoea should not be associated with teething, adding that "teething comes naturally’’.
The doctor said that diarrhoea occurred as a result of germs the child must have picked up as he or she puts everything in the mouth.
"The teeth comes natural, but many mothers attribute it to diarrhoea, most mothers attribute diarrhoea to teething because during teething, the child puts everything that crosses his or her way in the mouth.’’
Adeleke said most of the diarrhoea cases seen in children were caused by bacteria, adding that "we immunise them against diarrhoea and so the incidence has reduced’’.
Wikipedia says that teething does not cause fever or diarrhoea, but that the belief that teething causes fever is common among parents.
It says there is evidence that it may cause a slightly elevated temperature, but it does not cause fever.
It added that high temperature during teething was due to some form of infection, such as a herpes virus, which is extremely widespread among children of teething age.
Adeleke, however, advised parents to always have paracetamol at home, to lower the temperature of their children in case of fever.
The paediatrician urged parents to use paracetamol or do sponging as first aid, when their children developed fever.
"Fever is not good in an infant, because the brain is not well formed, if the fever is high it can cause convulsion,'' he said.