ATLANTA — As the United States struggles with a baby formula shortage, Georgia's Department of Public Health is offering guidance for families to navigate the empty shelves.
First, DPH is emphasizing families should speak with their pediatrician about safe feeding alternatives and the best way to get their children the nutrition they need.
Georgia WIC, which provides state resources for women and children, is working with WIC agencies statewide, local grocers and retailers, and formula manufacturers to help locate formula for families -- especially those in need of specialized formula, according to DPH. People can search for a Georgia WIC clinic and authorized stores using the state's tool.
As DPH coordinates statewide efforts to curb the supply shortage, Georgia's public health officials are also pointing to the American Academy of Pediatrics, adding families can turn to the organization's guidance for temporary solutions and to avoid further issues.
AAP has offered the following tips:
- Watering down baby formula is dangerous and can cause nutritional imbalances that may lead to serious health problems. Always mix formula as directed by the manufacturer.
- Homemade baby formulas are not advised. While recipes may seem healthy, they are not safe and do not meet your baby’s nutritional needs.
- Buy baby formula online but only from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies.
- Be leery of ads on social media. You can check out a company’s reputation through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) at www.bbb.org.
- Do not use imported formulas from other countries that are not reviewed by the FDA.
- Only prepare the amount of formula you will use - throw out any infant formula that is left in the bottle after feeding your baby.
- It is recommended that during the shortage you buy no more than a 10-day to two-week supply of formula.
For a complete list of AAP guidance and tips for finding formula during the shortage, visit healthychildren.org. Parents should not hesitate to talk to their pediatrician about any concerns about their baby's health and nutrition.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is warning Georgia consumers to beware of price gouging and other scams in response to the nationwide baby formula shortage. Consumers can report scams and suspected price gouging to the Consumer Protection Division (CPD) by calling 404-651-8600 or 1-800-869-1123. Georgians can also file a complaint online by visiting CPD’s website.