Infant Food Thickener Linked to 7 Deaths
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 22 children using Simply Thick developed NEC, and 7 of those cases were fatal. Though most often found in premature babies, NEC can create deadly inflammation in the bowels of all infants. While only one of the reported incidents was to a baby not born prematurely, the FDA warns that parents should know the risks in using food thickeners like Simply Thick.
Infant Digestive Aids: Simply Thick
Simply Thick is mixed with formula or breast milk to feed children who have digestive difficulties. Rice starch is an alternative thickener for children using formula, but will not mix effectively with breast milk, according to ABC News.
What Parents Can Do:
Information provided by ABC News:
- Parents using Simply Thick or similar digestive aids must discontinue use immediately and contact a pediatrician.
- Symptoms of NEC include greenish vomit, bloated stomach, bloody stool and lack of interest in nursing.
- Parents using formula can use rice starch as an alternative thickener.
- After discontinuing use of digestive aids, parents can use smaller, more frequent feedings, keeping the child upright 20 minutes after and at a 30 degree incline while sleeping.
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