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Doctor encourages safety amid baby formula shortage

Schexnayder said while the shortage may have provided a temporary inconvenience to supply...
Schexnayder said while the shortage may have provided a temporary inconvenience to supply families with formula, it actually prevented major health issues for babies across the country.(WTVM)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 10:03 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - As baby formula shortages continue to cause frustration among parents, health experts are wanting you to know how to navigate through this obstacle.

The Arkansas Department of Health held a media briefing on Thursday, where Dr. Stephen Schexnayder, a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician for UAMS, spoke on some of the most common questions parents have.

The briefing comes after Abbott Nutrition announced they are looking to reopen its plant in Michigan.

He said one of the issues that rises when it comes to finding alternatives is the timing.

“We realize there’s a very narrow window for that, and once that’s passed, that’s not something a mom can go back and do,” Schexnayder said.

He recommended breastfeeding as an alternative, as it’s often safer than other options.

Whenever it comes to babies that need a specialty formula, Schexnayder recommends not jumping the gun.

“For those babies that are on a certain specialty formula because they have a particular need, they do need to touch base with their pediatrician, rather than going and buying another brand off the shelf,” he said.

Schexnayder also recommended parents not dilute the formula by adding more water into it, as it can cause harmful side effects.

“The salts in the formula can be diluted, and babies, particularly infants, could get too much water and it can actually cause seizures,” he said. “If the salt levels get too low, the seizures can get so severe they can cause brain damage.”

Schexnayder said while the shortage may have provided a temporary inconvenience to supply families with formula, it actually prevented major health issues for babies across the country.

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