Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hello, Poison Control?

Early this morning I undoubtedly earned another one of those "parenting badges" you hear so many parents speak of. It's the kind of badge you don't really want and isn't really all that fun to earn but somehow, you feel like you've earned just a little more street cred as a parent when you achieve said milestone. Other badges in this series include The First Bathtub Poop, The First Stitches Incident and The First Muttered Curse Word.  

Calling Poison Control was not how I intended to spend my breakfast. In fact, in the minutes before dialing their number, I sent a string of not-so-friendly text messages to my husband trying to blame him for the poisonous ingestion. 

"Were you in the cabinet beneath the sink this morning? You have to be more careful! Why aren't you answering me? You're lucky this wasn't a real super emergency!" 

And maybe a "I can't believe we're having another one of these," thrown in for good measure.  

While standing over the stove scrambling the boys' eggs, Maclane was sitting at my feet playing with a spatula and mixing bowl, as he typically does. A second later he's handing me a chomped on, leaky Plink, one of those garbage disposal freshening drops that eerily resembles a lemon gumball. I glance over to the Poison Cabinet beneath the sink. It's locked with one of those child proof locks that's been on there since Carter was a scootch. One of those drops must've rolled out of the cabinet the last time someone was in there.

Oh, shit. This can't be good.

I quickly take note of the size of the culprit, how much liquid I think he ingested, whether or not it had all of its parts (as in, did he bite off a piece and swallow it?) and scrambled to find the package under the sink. All the while trying to rinse his mouth out with cold water and a rag. 

"Call Poison Control immediately and seek medical attention." 

Lovely. I now had visions of his esophagus shriveling up in a burning, fiery mess.

"Hi, Poison Control? I mean, good morning! My 18 month old just bit into one of those Plink garbage disposal freshening balls. He immediately spit it out and handed it to me- and I don't think he ingested too much of the liquid, although he does smell... lemony fresh."

My first time calling Poison Control. The operator on the other end of the line giggled and reassured me that he would be fine. She asked how he was acting and I admitted that he was jumping on the couch in a fit of giggles. Lunch would probably send us to the emergency room. 

It sounded like she was googling the situation. She asked the active ingredient and I read to her straight from the box. 

"Just keep and eye on him. His mouth might feel a little irritated but just offer him plenty of liquids and maybe even an ice pop or two." 

Easy enough, I thought. 

She then proceeded to ask for my name, phone number and zip code. Surely I thought she would send DYFS after me in a heartbeat. I felt like I needed to reassure her that he was literally at my feet when this happened. As mothers, we're always so quick to jump on the defensive. 

"I swear I'm not a negligent mother," I felt like telling her. 

I sighed, thanked her and hung up the phone. Not too shabby, I thought. Two boys, nearly 3.5 and 1.5 years old and we'd made it this far without a call to Poison Control. I'd say that's worthy of a parenting badge any day. 

Although I'm not sure I'd like to earn any more of those other badges any time soon.
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  1. I'm glad Maclane is okay. It's scary when things like that happen. And I'm glad your poison control person was nicer to you than mine was! They made me feel like a total idiot when I gave my son a full dropper of his fluoride rather than a "drop" of it. But then let me know that he would be totally fine, and then proceeded to take down my name and phone number. (Insert panic here)

  2. I love our PADIS system. We call them anytime someone comes to our ER with any accidental (or on purpose) OD. No matter how prepared we think we are - sometimes it just happens! Glad he's okay!

  3. Is it bad I've earned all said badges? Aye ye ye...

    Glad everyone is ok. Nothing more scary. Except for maybe when your 3yo's forehead is gaping open and you can see bone through all the blood. Please don't earn that badge, it's awful! But I'm sure with 3 boys running around you will have your fair share of these wonderful moments hahaha!

  4. oh glad he's alright...I unfortunately earned this badge when parker was about 9 months old. its so scary!

  5. Oh man! When my little guy was 3 months old my husband overdosed him on Pepcid, he gave him something like 3 - 4x the prescribed amount. Needless to say he was in big trouble and I made several hysterical calls to poison control. Pepcid is not the least bit harmful, so my son was fine, but you better believe I made my husband feel like crap!

  6. We've had to call poison control before... it's sucks. Luckily all turned out okay for us but still. Glad Mack is okay :)

  7. I'm glad he's ok! I had to call poison control when Carson was about 14 months because I *thought* he ate one of my gummy prenatal vitamins (I was taking while I was nursing). I had them on my nightstand and turned around and they were gone! I freaked out and called and then later found them under my bed. He had just knocked htem out of the way to get the remote for our light! :P

  8. So glad he's ok! I probably would have went nuts if that happened to me...not sure what I would have done. LOL! You did good Mama!

  9. I know that in the moment this was crazy insane scary however I am laughing hysterically at my computer (at work)a the image of it all. The memories and stories that will be told at family gatherings for years to come are priceless. As I am sure of the video clips and pictures that will be seen at the boys weddings and graduations! Have a wonderful rest of the day! :)

  10. So, funny story--I was feeling bad about calling poison control once when Lizzy ate one of those Silica Gel packets (the ones that say DO NOT EAT on them). My mother in law told me that when my husband and his siblings (there's 4 of them) were little, she felt like she was ALWAYS calling poison control. In one month, she called them because someone made dandelion soup and drank it, another used fingernail polish as eyeshadow, another swallowed a penny, and someone else was into the infant Tylenol. By the end of the month, she started using a fake name when she called because she was so embarrassed and was worried that they'd think she was never watching her kids ;)

  11. I had to call a few months ago after N decided to take a swig of (eczema) baby wash. The woman must have thought I was a moron, but all of those products have the big "call poison control" warning!

  12. Hey! I didn't even know they made garbage disposal freshening thingies! Thanks, Maclane! :)

    glad he's fine!!

  13. I like that. A parenting badge. I always just feel like a failure. Good on you for talking about it!

  14. I'm with Steph. Now I need to go buy some of these things! I'm glad he's ok. :) I think those companies have to put "Call Poison Control" to avoid a lawsuit.

  15. Haha oh glad he's okay but i have to laugh because I earned my Poison Control Panic badge when James was a year old. I was cleaning up in the kitchen and James casually strolls out of my bedroom sipping on an open container of Bath and Bodywork's Night Blooming Jasmine body splash. I freaked the eff out and called PC. He of course, was fine. BUT STILL.

  16. Haha glad Mac is okay. I have to laugh because I earned my Poison Control Panic badge when James was about a year. I was in the kitchen and James comes causally strolling out of my bedroom sipping on an open container of Bath and Bodywork's Night Blooming Jasmine body splash. I of course freaked out and proceeded to call PC. He was of course, fine BUT STILL. -gardenbaby :)

  17. Bless your heart! What a scary thing to have to deal with. Hope you have a great weekend! -CoastalKel

  18. Hi there, I just wanted to say that I work for a poison control center and we always say calling us makes you a good parent (not a bad one, as so many people seem to feel when these things happen). Secondly, we don't report calls to any sort of agency. I do a lot of parenting talks and it's always the first question. The reason we ask for your information is so we can call back to check on you if it's necessary, and because we keep statistics on where in our states calls come from. Our call records are protected by the same HIPAA laws as your records at your doctor's office.

    Secondly, the person you spoke with was definitely looking up the exact concentration of the product, but I promise she wasn't using Google, we have advanced toxicology databases for things like that, and depending on what it was, we might also have asked the child's age and weight to help calculate what the effects might be.

    So glad that your little boy is okay, and I hope you'll call again if you need us.

  19. We had our "poison cabinet" under lock down in our house but here in the apartment we don't. My husband is CONSTANTLY on me about making sure the dishwasher detergent packs are hidden (because, ya know, none of the other cleaning products in there are dangerous or anything). Thankfully, when the girls do get into the cabinet, the only thing they're ever interested in are the sponges and they don't eat them, they "clean" with them.

  20. What a lovely blog & a sweet, little family you have. <3 I earned my first badge last month when my newly mobile boy rolled off of the couch while I turned my back for 1 billionth of a second to grab his coat. Yup. A lovely welcome to the club indeed.


  21. Reminds me of the phone call I got from my hubs as I worked the night shift. He was "watching" Mya who was 1 then and he found her chewing on cat POOP!!!! Well he gave her milk as PC instructed and all was good bahahaha !!!! She's now 12 and hates cats!

  22. I have earned this badge plenty of times what with my 3 yo. And 2 yo. Running around like wild Indians and eating random things.😢 You learn that their little bodies are made to reject foreign objects and most of the products that are harmful are made with a protection against poisoning a child. like plink balls are made with a bitter coating so babies don't want to eat it, bottles of children's Tylenol and ibuprofen are made in a small enough bottle so even if they ingested the whole thing they wouldn't be in grave danger. Also poison center doesn't keep a running record of who ate what. The last man I talked to at poison center said that if you have to call twice a day for your child's entire life that's what they are there for. It made me feel a whole lot better!


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