Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Child-resistant, not child-PROOF"

The terminology has changed, apparently, in the last 20 years since I was a child, due to children like mine.Kittyboy was bound and determined not to nap yesterday, I was similarly determined that he WOULD, and so I finally said "Okay, you can get up, but play in your room for the rest of naptime." Just as I was about to make a snack and go get him, he came to ME, with an empty bottle of Benadryl and said "Mommy, I dwink it!", pleased as punch. I said "OH NO! OH DEAR GOD!" which he gleefully repeated over and over while I called my mom, called Poison Control, estimated with a measuring cup how much I thought had been in the bottle, told him to stop repeating me, "we don't just say that", and then the poison lady came back on and said, "That amount is toxic. You need to go to the ER, right now." To which I said again, "OH GOD." "Oh Gud! Oh Gud!" Kittyboy ran around saying, while I called Husband, called my mom again, told Kittyboy again to STOP IT, threw things in a purse, got him dressed, found us both shoes, called Husband again to tell him to drive faster, told Kittyboy again to STOP IT, and we went outside to wait for Husband. Kittyboy thinks going to the doctor is an exciting adventure. HE was happy.
"And how did he get the medicine?" I answered that question probably ten times in the least 24 hours. Climbed a dresser, undid a child "resistant" lid, and drank. Simple as that. Obviously nothing is safe, anywhere. Thank you, OT and fine motor skills. I don't THINK we need to practice unscrewing lids anymore.
We tried for some time, I don't know how long, to get him to drink something, anything, with activated charcoal. We had an activated charcoal mini-bar of juices and milks, none of which he would touch. It doesn't change the taste, it does a little change the texture, but mainly it turns anything it's mixed with pitch black. He would take NOTHING. We told him the alternative was a tube down his throat. He still wouldn't drink, and you can't safely force a child to drink. You CAN, however, forcefeed, and I have done it. I had them mix it with applesauce, and we got enough of it into him (between one of us holding him while the other alternated coaxing and commanding) that he finally realized it tasted and felt pretty much like... applesauce. Then he ate it. We had already pinned him down for the insertion of an IV port, and we WERE ready to go a second time if he didn't eat the blasted charcoal.
I'm such a sweet, softhearted, sympathetic mommy. I wasted no opportunity to point out that this is what happens when you take medicine that Mommy and Daddy didn't give you. Want to go home? Can't, you drank Benadryl and we're stuck here. I'm sorry you need an IV port now, but this happens when you drink Benadryl. Don't feel like drinking black milk? You drank allergy medicine, boy, WHY STOP THERE? I think I must be a tough-love mommy.
I came home about 7 to retrieve diapers, weighted blanket, Curious George, and the Curious George book, and went through the house marveling at all the obvious signs of our speedy exit. The light in his room was on, the stereo was still playing, a baby wipe container was open and drying out, and the dishwasher was open with the baskets pulled out.
Kittyboy was fine, he slept once he had a bedtime story and his blanket, and basically we just sat around watching the monitor do its thing until ten or so, when we woke him up to get started on going home. He'd had no tacchycardia, no strange readings of any sort, everything was fine. When we woke him, though, he was acting REALLY confused. Okay, he'd just been awakened from a sound sleep (and he sleeps like a rock), and he was in a strange place, but when he wouldn't name any of the Pooh characters on his blanket, Sesame St characters on his shoes, or Veggies on his shirt, I was getting worried. He would name the person who was pointing at the character, mommy or daddy, and burst into tears. I got a nurse. He hadn't eaten since lunch, so we fed him applesauce, jello, cookies and juice, to find out whether this was super-low blood sugar and having been soundly asleep, or the "confusion" they had mentioned as a sign he would need to stay longer. After the applesauce, Husband pointed to Kittyboy's necklace and asked, "Who's that? Who is on your chain here?" "Nec tawus." St. Nectarios, YES.
We got home shortly before midnight, fell into bed around one, and woke up this morning to the most annoyingly energized boy EVER. BOY, was he WOUND. Veryveryvery not confused, very not sleepy, VERY back to normal.
And since child-proofing locks are not that much more difficult than child-resistant lids, we're just sticking EVERYTHING on the highest shelf in the bathroom - the one I can only reach standing on the toilet - because I am 99% sure he can't get up there, whereas I am only 50-75% sure he can't undo a cabinet lock.


Civilla said...

How perfectly awful!!! I once unknowingly gave my 10-month-old (this was 20 years ago!) too much liquid Tylenol and had to take him to the ER.

He had a fever, so I picked up the little tiny bottle of Tylenon with the eye-dropper in it, and not knowing that the little bottle was CONCENTRATED Tylenol, I proceeded to give him a teaspoon of it just like I normally did with the regular sized bottle of Tylenol, not using the eye-dropper.

Then we went to the doctor to see what the fever was all about, an ear infection, or what.

The doc (actually, a nurse practitioner) asked how much Tylenol I had given him, and when I said "a teaspoon from the little eye-dropper bottle," he said, "HOW MUCH???" He then told me that the eye-dropper bottle had CONCENTRATED Tylenol in it, unlike the Tylenol in the regular-sized bottle.

(Are you writing this down?)

He made my baby take Syrup of Ipecac and he threw up a little, and then we had to drive to the ER a couple of hours away. The doctors checked for liver damage, but thank God, my baby was ok. Another doctor at our own clinic, later on, said that the amount my baby had taken was not toxic.

Whew! But, I didn't know there was such a difference in the concentration of the medicine in the two different bottles! The tiny eye-dropper bottle of Tylenol for babies is very concentrated!

Live and learn. Glad your little boy is ok.

Caeseria said...

OH my GOSH!! How terrifying!

We started out with the little tiny bottles of infant Tylenol and when we ran out and there was a sale on children's, we bought that and did the math to convert the dosage. My mistake would have been to dose as if it were concentrated and then wonder why it wasn't working.
Brings something else to mind - at least it was children's Benadryl of which he drank so much and not infants'!! (if they even make infant Benadryl) Infant medicine bottles don't even bother being anything-resistant, they just twist off! I never thought of that until today, when I was clearing off everything on any surface he could conceivably climb to, and realized that all those tiny little bottles are totally easy to open. Scary!
Regular pill bottles are staying on the lower shelves, because otherwise there won't be any room on the top shelf (he has a TON of different medications from the past year waiting for the next Hazardous Materials pickup), and if we always always turn the little arrows so they're not matched up at all, those will still be safe. Anything that's push-and-twist, obviously, is fair game and going waaay up!

Civilla said...

Wow. At least you know about the infants' Tylenol being stronger. I didn't. I don't think anything is really kid-proof. The little tykes are smart!

Pres. Kathy said...

I am glad that everything is better now but I can;t imagine how scared you were.