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500,000 Kids Get the Wrong Medicine Dose…

Did you know that 500,000 times each year, a child gets into medicine that they shouldn’t, or gets the wrong dose to their medicine? How scary is that, right? We all know that there are some basic precautions to take, like keeping medicines up high, or in a locked cabinet. But there are SO many scenarios you might not expect, and so much information that can really help. I know from experience that even as an uber careful mom who worries over everything, things can still go wrong. I’ll share my story with you of when Abby got into the wrong meds, and then give you some awesome tips and tools to help keep your family safe.

Abby at er2

Toddlers and medications

One night, when Abby was about a year old, I was in bed reading, and she was playing with toys on the floor nearby. All of a sudden I noticed a weird smell…. I looked down to see her covered in something slimy. I jumped out of bed and grabbed her, and realized it was Vick’s Vapor Rub – all over her face and hands!!! The jar had been almost full, and was now almost empty. I grabbed daddy to help clean her up – and ran to the computer to see how dangerous eating Vick’s could be. It said to call poison control right away. Ohmyheck. My mommy-heart was beating like crazy, and I was in a panic. The poison control people were great, helped calm me down, gave me tips on how to clean Abby up more fully. They recommended that I call the hospital, which I did. We brought Abby in for observation, and luckily – it seemed that she hadn’t actually eaten much of the medicine, just smeared it all over her. I had been keeping that jar of Vick’s in my night stand drawer, since I’d been having awful allergies that stuffed me up – and never even thought about her getting into it there! I felt SO awful…. But it was a big wake-up call to think “outside the box” about where things were stored in the house, especially as Abby grew to toddler stage.

Safe Kids Worldwide Medication Safety Infographic

What can a busy mom do to keep kids safe from medications?

Well, like I said – most of us already know to keep things up high. But kids are still harmed by accidental ingestion every day, so clearly there’s more to it than that. Here are a few more things to think about:

  • Things you don’t consider medicine: Of course you’d think to keep pills and cough syrups up high. But what about things like diaper rash cream, eye drops, or vitamins? These are easier to miss. Do a fresh sweep through your kitchen and bathroom cupboards, to see if there are things you should move to a higher spot.
  • Visitors: A really easy way for kids to get into things is when you have people come to visit. Whether it’s a friend staying for the weekend who leaves a bottle of pain killer on the counter, or grandma’s purse left sitting on the floor – there are many ways that people who aren’t used to the “toddler precaution lifestyle” can bring new risks.
  • Read the Labels: Make sure to carefully read the labels on the medicines that you give your kids – even if you’ve used it in the past. Sometimes brands change the dosage amounts or measurement units. And, be sure to check the ingredients – you don’t want to give your kiddo two different meds that have the same active ingredient.

Curious kids can get into trouble super fast – so it’s good to do a check of the house every so often, just to be sure you haven’t missed any problems or dangers. Not only is easy for something like eye drops easy to get moved to a lower drawer, but we all know kids grow faster than imaginable, and places they couldn’t figure out how to reach just a month ago might have become newly accessible to them as they’ve gotten bigger or learned new skills. Man, motherhood is a constant battle, isn’t it? :)

{Disclaimer: 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.}


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