Thursday, December 10, 2009

Self medication, preschooler style

So I've been a parent for over five and a half years. Owen will be exactly three and a half next week, and I only just this morning had to make my very first phone call to poison control. Pretty good, eh?

Backstory: He's had a cold and wicked cough for a few days, ever since helping Adam put up the outside Christmas lights in frigid weather on Sunday afternoon.

He crawled in my bed this morning around 2:00 and said he was sick and coughing a lot. Adam was still awake (but that's a story for another day), so I sent Owen out to find him to ask for some medicine. I heard him shuffle down the hall in his footie jammies, so I rolled over and snuggled back under the warm covers.

A few minutes later he came shuffling back and crawled in bed with me. I asked him if Daddy got some medicine for him and he said, "No, I did it myself." I sat straight up in bed and asked him to repeat himself. "Daddy fell asleep on the couch, so I did it myself." I immediately ran out and grabbed the bottle of Triaminic so see how much he'd had. I woke up Adam and we both went back to cross examine the boy.

We asked him how he got the bottle open, since yes, it does have a childproof cap on it. He said he pushed it down hard and turned it lefty loosey (no joke, the kid is smart) and he grunted when he was showing us, to emphasize how hard he had to turn it. We had him try it in front of us, and he couldn't repeat the feat.

I asked him how much he had had, and he said, "Mama, you only give me one, but I'm three, so I had three." Judging from how much I remembered being in the bottle at bedtime, he was right - there were about three teaspoons missing. I went back out to the kitchen and found the little dosage cup in the sink. He certainly knew what he was doing!

I called poison control and relayed the details to them. They calculated the active ingredients, milligrams and his weight and said it was not a toxic amount and assured me I had nothing to worry about. Adam slept with him the rest of the night, just to make sure.

We always keep the medicine up high, I had just left that bottle on the counter since we used it at bedtime. Who knew a three year old could open a childproof cap? Our ways have been changed!

Moral of the story: Kids are determined, that's for sure. And so much smarter than we give them credit for!


Monica said...

Wow! Your heart must have gone from 0 to 60 when you realized he'd self-medicated. Glad to hear it all worked out. He probably slept goooooooood after all that cold medicine.

Kelly's 3 said...

aughh! That is scary! So...for my own personal knowledge and since they said he was fine, did he sleep better with 3 teaspoons and not one...KIDDING!!!

Trent and Amber said...

Holy cow, that's crazy! I just assumed the girls couldn't open a child-proof bottle, I guess I'll have to really make sure!

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