Skip to content

    Health & Baby

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    FDA to Parents: Don't Give SimplyThick to Infants

    FDA Extends SimplyThick Warning to Include All Infants, not Just Preemies
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Sept. 18, 2012 -- SimplyThick, a beverage thickener for people who have trouble swallowing liquids, should not be mixed with breast milk or infant formula and given to babies, the FDA warns.

    In babies, SimplyThick may raise the risk of a life-threatening condition marked by inflammation and death of intestinal tissue, the FDA warns.

    The new warning extends a previous one stating that SimplyThick should not be given to premature infants born before 37 weeks due to risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

    To date, the FDA has identified 22 infants who developed NEC after being fed SimplyThick. All but one was born prematurely. Of these, seven died. Half of the babies developed NEC while they were in the hospital, and 14 needed surgery.

    NEC symptoms include:

    Specific to Single Product

    This warning is specific to SimplyThick and does not include other thickening products, says FDA spokeswoman Tamara N. Ward. "Parents and caregivers who have questions or concerns related to the use of the product and/or who have medical concerns should contact their health care provider.”

    SimplyThick and other thickeners are not meant for infants, period, says Jesse Reeves-Garcia, MD. He is the director of gastroenterology at Miami Children's Hospital. “Infants are not meant to be eating solid foods, so these products are not appropriate.”

    Such products do have a role in older kids and adults with swallowing disorders. He also says he would not use these products to treat infant reflux.

    Baby's First Year Newsletter

    Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

    Today on WebMD

    mother on phone holding baby
    When you should call 911.
    parents and baby
    Unexpected ways your life will change.
     
    baby acne
    What’s normal – and what’s not.
    baby asleep on moms shoulder
    Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
     

    mother holding baby at night
    ARTICLE
    mother with sick child
    QUIZ
     
    Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
    SLIDESHOW
    Track Your Babys Vaccines
    TOOL
     
    Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
    Slideshow
    Mother with her baby boy
    Article
     
    baby in crib
    Slideshow
    baby gear slideshow
    Slideshow