KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Many parents have been stressing since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it would be recalling some powdered baby formula.
The formula was made at Abbott Nutrition's facility in Sturgis, Michigan, and includes Similac, Alimentum and EleCare.
"Whenever there's a recall, there's always a risk that you may not be able to find the formula that you're used to having, and then families worry about what is the right formula choice, so that creates a lot of stress and anxiety for families," said a Bronson Primary Care Partners' Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Megan Foley.
Bronson Primary Care Partners said they're seeing some of the stress as parents are unsure of what to do.
"Calling their health care provider, especially if they're on any specialty formula at all, is number one," said Foley.
Foley said parents should never alter the mixture to make it last longer, as it could be very dangerous for their baby.
"All formula has to meet FDA standards, so there's sometimes when you go to the store, you can look for ‘comparable to,’ and that might be an easy way to transition to a different formula," said Foley.
If a parent can't find it in stock, there could be another alternative, according to Foley.
"Some pediatric offices also have samples of formula, and so that's an option if you're unable to find your formula. Talking to your pediatrician and finding out if they have a can or so that they could give you an order to get you through until you can find it or get a mail order. Some of the formula companies do have a way to ship the formula directly to you," said Foley.
A Kalamazoo organization is also helping families who may have lots of questions, trying to help simplify the process for them.
The director of Red Birth Green at the Rootead Enrichment Center said they've been helping with returns.
"We have actually been taking some of our client families to their local grocery store to walk them through the return process, to help them understand what needs to happen. Each of those stores has their specific return process, so it's more of a matter of knowing who to talk to and what questions to ask," said Rootead Enrichment Center's Director of Red Birth Green Branch Élan Bridges.
The recall also serves as a reminder to parents and caregivers of how formula should be handled inside their homes.
"Formula also needs to be kept clean, and so keeping the top on it securely, not leaving it open is really important, and if you're only using your formula once in a while, you really should only have a can open for up to four weeks at the most and then you should get rid of it even if you haven't used it up," said Foley.
For families eligible to get formula through WIC, they have temporarily expanded the eligibility to include alternatives due to the recall and shortage.
Eligible families can contact their service office or visit the government's website for a list of what is covered under expanded eligibility.
To check to see if your formula is on recall, click here.