When Maisy was a little peanut, my life consisted of being a milkmaid and blogging from my couch. Maisy was a tiny little gal, and I was constantly feeding her in an effort to make sure she kept gaining weight and that my supply was maintained. All new breastfeeding moms can sympathize, right? It’s something that pretty much takes over your life. You’ve got to make sure you have a comfy nursing spot, because you’ll be spending a lot of time there!
One nursing session turned into a really, really scary situation. While I was nursing Maisy on the couch, Emma (then 4) and Micah (then 2) were playing throughout the house. We lived in an open floorplan home, and I could easily hear what was going on around the home while I sat on the couch. Maisy was probably a month old at the time, and was in the beginning stages of colic. She was exhausted, hungry, screaming, and fussy while I tried to feed her. I had become so preoccupied with the baby that I hadn’t realized that Micah had gotten into the mudroom where Andrew kept cleaning supplies. I can’t even remember specifically what the product was, but Micah walked out holding only the spray nozzle of a chemical bottle. No actual bottle attached.
Did he drink it? Is it all over his skin? How much was in this bottle before? How much is on the floor? If he ingested any, how much did he drink?
Let me tell you, if there’s ever a moment where I lost my head, this was it. Screaming baby. Confused kids. Mom flying around the house like a maniac trying to figure out what just happened.
I immediately Googled a Poison control number and called. I was so nervous that they were going to be judgmental, call child protective services, and deem me an unfit mother. But the response I got was not one of condemnation, but instead a helpful and calm woman walked me through the steps necessary to determine what risk my son was in, and what I could do to make sure he was okay. He didn’t have any chemical or liquid on his shirt, and he didn’t smell like the chemical at all. I hadn’t even thought to check his shirt for spillage in my crazed panic! Micah didn’t drink or ingest any of the cleaning solution, it turns out. Just made a very scary mess for me to clean.
I am so incredibly thankful that I had a resource to reach out to when I needed it. We had taken all the right steps — baby locks on the cabinets, door knob locks, etc. But in the blink of an eye, things can change. Did you know that 500,000 times a year, a child gets into medicine or gets the wrong dosage? Poisoning isn’t just happening with the things under your kitchen sink. This video shows so many different situations where medication can end up in the hands of a child.
Keeping Kids Safe from Accidental Overdose
To keep your children safe, here are some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide. Share them with visitors and with those who
care for your child outside of their home to ensure your child is safe both inside and outside of the home.
Put medicines up and away and out of sight.
- Make sure that all medications, including vitamins and adult medicines, are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. In 86% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.
Consider products you might not think about as medicines.
- Most parents know to store medicine up and away – or at least the products they consider to be medicine. But they don’t always think about products such as eye drops or vitamins, which may not seem like medicine but actually are. Look around your home to see what products are within the reach of children and may be harmful, then move them up and away.
Be alert to visitors’ medicine.
- When you have visitors in your home, offer to put purses, bags and coats out of reach of children to protect their property from a curious child. Well meaning visitors may not be thinking about the medicines that they have brought with them in their belongings. In 43% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a relative, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent.
Put medicines up and away after EVERY use
- It may be tempting to keep medicine close at hand when you need to give another dose of medicine in just a few hours. Accidents can happen fast. It only takes a few seconds for children to get into medicine that could make them very sick. Put medicine up and away after every use. And if you need a reminder, set an alarm on your watch or cell phone, or write yourself a note.
Read the label and know what’s in the medicine.
- Take the time to read the label and follow the directions on your child’s medicine. Check the active ingredients listed on the label. Don’t give your child more than one medicine with the same active ingredient. Giving your child two or medicines that have the same active ingredient can put your child at risk for an overdose.
Put the Poison Control number in your home and cell phone: 1-800-222-1222.
- You can also put the number on your refrigerator or another place in your home where babysitters can see it.
We haven’t had to call Poison Control since, and for that, I’m thankful. I’m going to continue to be vigilant about poison safety, and I encourage you to do a walk through of your home to ensure that there are no dangerous substances within your child’s reach.
I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Safe Kids Worldwide and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.