Danielle Kapetanovic is speaking out about how she nearly lost her 15-month-old daughter Chloe after giving her teething gel to ease the pain.
On Feb. 26, the Chantilly, Virginia mom says she put less than a "pea size" amount of Orajel's night time teething gel on Chloe's gums. She says her daughter immediately became unresponsive and was not breathing.
"It was like something had stopped inside of her; like she was not there Kapetanovic shared with PEOPLE. "Even though her eyes were open and locked in a dead stare, she was completely limp. She was turning blue. I had to react, so I picked her up and I was hitting her back."
As her husband called 911, Kapetanovic performed mouth-to-mouth on her daughter until she became responsive.
"I was screaming. It's the scariest thing that's ever happened to me," Kapetanovic says. "I just reacted. I was trying to do everything I could to get her back. It was like she was gone. I picked her up and she was just dangling there. It was absolutely horrifying... That image is seared in my head. She did not look like she had life in her."
The terrifying experience lasted only about 30 seconds, the mother revealed. Medical technicians soon arrived and determined the baby was fine after the incident. Kapetanovic says she stayed up the entire night with Chloe.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Church & Dwight Co., Inc. the maker of Orajel, says: "Orajel Teething Gels contain benzocaine and are recommended for children two years or older. Church & Dwight Co., Inc. the maker of Orajel, advises on its packaging and website that caregivers of children under the age of 24 months consult their physician or healthcare professional before using Orajel™ teething products."
Kapetanovic acknowledged that she knew the gel was intended for children 2 years old and older, but did not think the substance would negatively impact Chloe, who she described as a "perfectly healthy baby."
PEOPLE reports that after the scare, the mom learned more about benzocaine, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned against giving to children under 24 months. The substance can cause a rare condition that can cause shortness of breath, blue, gray or pale skin color, dizziness, fatigue and rapid heart rate. The condition can lead to death sometimes.
"If I had known that this could happen as a result of using this seemingly safe baby product, I would certainly have not given it to her," Kapetanovic admits. "I assumed it was alright, and that was not a safe assumption. Going forward, I won't assume anything."
The mom, who also has a 4-year-old daughter, shared a long Facebook post about the incident and warned parents not to use the gel. The post quickly made its way around the internet, being shared more than 60,000 times.2comments