Friday, January 29, 2010
I am certainly no model for amazing parenting skills or anything. In fact, I have had my share of mommy mishaps which include dropping my baby (or rather, she rolled off my lap and onto the floor), not buckling the carseat into the car (more than once), and near choking with some foods. But this latest event has really shaken me based on what could have happened.
The other day, while Lucy was playing on the floor, my husband found a medication next to her. My first instinct would be to worry about the choking hazard but this was such a small pill, that wouldn't have been an issue. However, the thought of her so easily swallowing it and what potential and unknown side effects might occur were terrifying to me. The same thing happened to my sister-in-law who found a powerful painkiller wedged in the couch that her toddler could have easily ingested. Fortunately, we both found the pills before they were ingested but it was just a stark reminder of how careful we have to be as parents. Because it is not just prescription pills that can do harm but regular over-the-counter medications and even vitamins too. To an exploring baby who puts everything in her mouth and even to a more experienced toddler, a pill can easily be mistaken for candy. So our job as parents is not only to keep an eye out on our own medications but also the medications of family and friends who are visiting or whose homes we are staying in.
I just emptied out our old prescriptions from the medicine drawer in my house to dispose of. Make sure that you google prescription disposal programs in your area to find out the best way to dispose of them instead of just throwing them out in the trash or flushing them down the toilet and affecting the water supply. Next step is to get some drawer and cabinet locks for the drawer our other medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are in. Even vitamins need to be placed out of reach. I just read in the January 2010 issue of American Baby that 1 in 180 2-year olds get rushed to the ER for accidental overdoses of common meds.
A good article to read can be found HERE and HERE for tips and more information. Be safe everyone - it can be a scary world out there!