Hyland’s Teething Tablets Recall Education Repost

by Emily on September 9, 2012

When we made the transition over to the new site many of my older posts were lost in the conversion. I can still access my drafts, however, so I am going to be slowly bringing the most popular posts from the old site over here. If you have been reading my blog for awhile some of these may be repeats. Today, I decided to repost this one after having a conversation with a mom and nurse about the safety of these tablets:

The Issue:

On October 23, 2010 Hylands Teething Tablets were recalled. You can read the statement from the FDA here and the statement from Hyland’s here.

Ok, before I open this can of worms let me make one thing very, very clear. When it comes to recalls, especially for children, it is always best to be cautious. This post is NOT intended to convince you to keep your recalled products. This post is to balance out the attacks that may occur on this product simply because it is a homeopathic product. Hyland’s absolutely should have consistent levels of belladonna in their products and not having them is irresponsible. Hence the recall and the reason why you SHOULD check your bottle to make sure it has not been recalled. And as always you should keep ALL medications, vitamins, and supplements out of reach of your children whether they have child proof caps or not.

However, I did want to just give you a little bit of perspective on this whole situation from a mom who researches and uses alternative medications on a regular basis. First of all conventional food and medications are recalled ALL THE TIME. So just because this company has had a recall does not mean that it is not a reputable company. This is the first recall they have ever had in over 50 years. Do you think Tylenol can say the same?

About the Belladonna:

This is especially interesting to me because when my oldest was a baby and teething I called my pediatrician at the time and asked her about these. I was told that they contained a toxic plant and I should not use them. I have since switched pediatricians and have used them with our younger two on a regular basis. I have also become more educated as to what exactly that “toxic plant” belladonna really is. Conventional medicines typically use 0.2 to 5 mg of Belladonna alkaloids per tablet as an anti-spasmodic, roughly 1,000 to 25,000 times larger than the quantities used in Hyland’s Teething Tablets (they use 0.0002 mg of Belladonna alkaloid per tablet). So what that means is that in order for a child to have even a tiny reaction to the teething tablets a 10 pound baby would have to ingest about 1,000 tablets (which would be 6 bottles). So that means my 30 pound 12 month old would have to ingest 3,000 tablets or 18 bottles. 

Were Babies Hurt?

The only statement I can find for this recall in reference to any child being affected by this recall is this one: “Adverse events have been reported but the FDA has said that a conclusive link has not been determined”. That doesn’t sound very convincing to me, in my opinion, if there were serious effects that had been confirmed the FDA would be more than happy to let us all know. However, I am thankful that if there is even a slight chance that a company has made a mistake the FDA was quick to act in this case. Even with the recall, since there are no toxic levels confirmed, lets just say for arguments sake, that Hylands had accidentally doubled the amount of belladonna in some bottles, that still means that a 10 pound baby would have to swallow 3 bottles worth and my toddler would have to swallow 9 bottles worth.

 My Conclusion

While I do think it is important to err on the side of caution and listen to the recall, I do want you all to keep in mind that just because something is recalled does not mean that it is a bad product. We will continue to use these teething tablets in our house with our children. We couldn’t survive the teething months without them.


Emily is a mom on a mission. A mission to help other moms discover that being green doesn’t have to be hard, or expensive! She is a speaker, writer, and teacher on organic living and natural parenting.

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