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Health expert shares safety tips to consider amid baby formula shortage

One local mom says she has to visit 5-10 stores when she is searching for formula for her baby.

TAMPA, Fla. — Amid the nationwide baby formula shortage, many moms are turning to social media groups to try and find formula to feed their children.

If you do this, Melanie Newkirk, the nutritional services director at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital says there are a few things to keep in mind before giving the formula to your baby. 

Newkirk says moms should make sure the formula container is completely sealed.

"You don't want to accept a can that has been partially used that is a great risk for potential contamination," she explained. 

Along with checking the expiration date at the bottom of the formula, Newkirk says you should make sure it has not been stored in the heat for a long period of time.

“If Florida is stored in high heat for a long time period some of the nutritional components can be compromised," said Newkirk. 

A local mom we spoke to says her son has a lot of allergies. Kathryn Heller says finding formula for him in stores has been nearly impossible.

“We have friends and family in multiple states looking for us," Heller said. 

Heller is one of many moms who has joined several Facebook groups to try and see if anyone is giving away formula she can use. Heller says she has also returned the favor by helping other moms in need.

“I posted a couple of pictures of his old formula which is Nutramigen which I know a lot of moms have been hiring to try and find," she said. 

Newkirk says before taking formula from someone, you can always try to ask them questions.

“Potentially you could ask someone who is donating formula when they purchased it, how long they have had it, and where did they get it from," she said. 

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