What Parents of Children with Special Needs Concerned with Similac Formula Recall Need To Know
Infants with special needs may have feeding difficulties and formulas such as Similac could be used to help these children thrive. The current recall of Similac formula has caused widespread concern for families with children with special needs . Abbott Laboratories, the producer of Similac infant formula, issued a recall this past Wednesday on select containers of Similac brand powder infant formula. Recalled containers may contain a small beetle or larvae, which could cause stomach discomfort along with digestion problems and lead to children refusing to eat.
No Abbott liquid infant formulas are impacted. And brands often used by special needs parents such as Similac Expert Care™ Alimentum®, Elecare ®, Similac Expert Care™ Neosure ®, Similac® Human Milk Fortifier, and metabolic formulas for inherited disorders and all. Abbott Nutrition liquid ready-to-feed and concentrated infant formulas have not been recalled.
In the midst of this recall, parents are frantically searching for details and specific lot numbers to ensure the health of their children.
Before You Throw Out Formula Do Two Things: Check Lot Number and Call Your Pediatrician
“People have asked me if children with special needs or children who are medically fragile are more affected by this recall,” stated AbilityPath.org Expert Cassy Christianson OTR/L (http://www.abilitypath.org/meet-our-experts/christianson-cassy.html). “I understand that for some infants, formula may be a necessity. There are many reasons for this such as a newborn’s inability to initiate breastfeeding due to complications from prematurity or low muscle tone. They may also have digestive (gastrointestinal) disorders that require an infant to use formulas that address allergy concerns or the need for a ‘broken down’ formula for G-tube feedings. For parents of these infants, I think it is important to talk to your pediatrician about the recall if your infant has taken a recalled Similac formula, It can sometimes be very hard to change formulas without affecting your child’s nutritional intake”.
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco, who has experience working with children with special needs as a former employee of Community Gatepath (http://www.gatepath.org/) and an advocate on other recalls affecting children, responded to AbilityPath.org by stating, “Late last week, Abbott halted production of the powdered Similac at its Michigan plant after discovering common beetles in its warehouse production area during a routine check. Shortly thereafter, they contacted the FDA which determined that the beetle parts didn’t present a serious health threat. The company determined that .16% of the formula was contaminated and instituted a voluntary recall on Wednesday of five million containers of the product.”
“Recent reports indicate that Abbott has not received any reports of injuries although the company admitted they did get two complaints from parents who noticed beetle parts in their formula containers, the company has not confirmed the complaints, “ said Congresswoman Speier. FDA insists that the formula won’t cause any immediate health dangers but drinking the contaminated product could produce stomach discomfort.
Congresswoman Speier added “The FDA does have mandatory recall if it determines that the adulterated or misbranded formula presents a human health risk and the manufacturer is required to “immediately take all actions necessary to recall that formula, extending to and including the retail level.”
AbilityPath Expert Heather A. Iezza, MD (http://www.abilitypath.org/meet-our-experts/heather-ariagno-iezza-md.html) recommends: “Before you throw out all your formula, confirm that it has a lot number that is being recalled. If your child ingested one of the recalled formulas and has new symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort (vomiting, diarrhea, or refusal to eat) see your pediatrician.”
For a list of the recalled Similac formulas, visit the FDA food safety site, http://www.foodsafety.gov or the Similac site, http://www.similac.com/recall/lookup.You can also call Abbott’s consumer hotline, (800) 986-8850.