New parents will do almost anything to relieve their little ones' teething pain—but one thing the FDA says they shouldn't do is give their babies homeopathic teething products, Live Science reports. In a Sept. 30 statement, the FDA warns these "natural" tablets and gels found in some chain drugstores and online can pose medical risks to infants and young children, from constipation and agitation to more serious issues such as breathing problems and seizures. "Teething can be managed without prescription or over-the-counter remedies," says Janet Woodcock, director of the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Per the National Institutes of Health, homeopathy is an alternative (and little-proven) type of medical treatment that works on the theory that using tiny amounts of natural substances that usually cause ailments can actually help treat them.
And for years, the FDA has been on the case of homeopathic teething tablets and gels, which aren't evaluated or approved by the agency: In 2010, it sent out an alert about Hyland's teething tablets, which contained "inconsistent" amounts of belladonna (also known as deadly nightshade), Popular Science reports. So what else are desperate parents to do? Per Live Science and the American Academy of Pediatrics, everything from hard, unsweetened teething crackers to pacifiers, clean wet washcloths, and refrigerated (not frozen) teething rings can work as soothers. In advance of the FDA's announcement, CVS announced it was pulling all homeopathic teething products, while Hyland's issued a statement saying its products are safe, per Drug Store News. (Check out the weird thing these parents discovered was causing their baby's "teething" issues.)