LAFAYETTE — The Tippecanoe County Health Department is offering parents information about baby formula alternatives and resources on where to find formula and breastmilk amid the national shortage.

"We recognize this is a very stressful and frightening time for parents whose infants strictly rely on formula," an announcement from the local health department stated. "While there is no perfect solution, we would like to bring awareness about some serious health concerns associated with formula substitution and provide resources for safer alternatives."

The health department explained that evaporated milk and other regular milk products lack the vitamins and nutrients needed for infant growth and development, as does watered down formula. However, a temporary milk-based solution can be used when no other options are available.

"Whole cow’s milk can temporarily be used for infants over the age of 6 months who do not have formula allergies or sensitivities," the announcement said, "but if used long term, there is great risk for anemia due to a lack of iron in cow’s milk."

Using unpasteurized milks is not recommended they can contain bacteria that infants' immune systems are not prepared to handle, resulting in them becoming dangerously ill.

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