Mother's call for caution after Bonjela teething gel poisons baby

This article has been updated to include Bonjela manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser's statement.

A Kiwi mother is warning other parents to be cautious when using Bonjela teething gel, after it made her baby girl seriously ill.

Jessica Vermunt posted on Facebook her daughter was hospitalised after they gave her Bonjela, having no idea it was potentially harmful.

"I'm aware that she had more than normal but the point remains that this has the potential to kill your child and there is no real information or warnings about the severity of it," she said.

"I had been at the Dr's 4 hours before she was rushed to hospital not breathing or responding to anything, the Dr was aware of the amount of Bonjela she was having and didn't think it was of concern at all [sic]."

Vermunt told NZME her baby was "minutes away from death" due to having too much Bonjela, but is now sitting up smiling and giggling.

"[Doctors] diagnosed her with salicylate overdose. Salicylate is the active ingredient in Bonjela," Vermunt told NZME.

It's not yet known if the child will have long-term complications due to the overdose.

The United Kingdom's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) advised against giving children under 16 Bonjela teething gel in 2009.

The move came after a 20-month-old child came down with a suspected case of Reye's syndrome, a liver and brain condition, due to Bonjela use.

Bonjela teething gel in the UK and Ireland does not contain salicylate acid.

New Zealand's equivalent of the MHRA, Medsafe, told Newshub it decided Bonjela was still safe for use on children in 2009 and has not looked at it again since.

"There have been no cases about this product reported to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) since 2009 and as such, Medsafe's last advice on bonjela was in 2009," group manager Chris James said.

"We cannot take action if there is no evidence of harm but we strongly encourage the family or healthcare professionals treating the child to report to CARM."

Standard practice is for any reported case to be taken to the Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee for advice.

Bonjela manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser told Newshub parents should use oral teething and ulcer gels only according to package directions.

"We have been made aware of an incident relating to Bonjela and are currently trying to contact the consumer directly to understand what exactly has happened," a spokesperson said.

"Meanwhile, we are sending our best wishes to the infant for a quick recovery. The health and safety of our consumers is a top priority for us.

"We take the health and safety of our customers very seriously. All Bonjela products in Australia and New Zealand are thoroughly reviewed and approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the regulatory body for therapeutic goods in Australia and the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe) for safety and efficacy."