It Happened to Me…

My child ingested a rogue pill.

Don’t worry, she is okay. It was an Advil and apparently, it looked like an orange M&M. It certainly didn’t taste like one as she quickly discovered. Most of it was spit out, but it scared me and my reaction certainly scared her.

The thing is, I had no idea this Advil, disguised as an orange M&M, was even lurking around on our couch.

This just happened last week, when I was home sick with the flu and popping Advil around the clock. I do remember dropping one on the floor and I couldn’t find it. In my flu induced stupor, I recall thinking that I would find it later and that my children were certainly beyond the age of picking random things up and putting it in their mouths.

I was wrong. If it looks like candy…my three year old is still clearly willing to test it out.

Lesson learned. You can never be too careful when it comes to medication and keeping them out of a child’s reach. Granted, I had no idea this pill was lying around. Still, I was remiss to not hunt it down when I couldn’t find it.

It must have been on my clothing. I’m assuming that’s how it got transferred to the couch, the place I could barely peel myself from for two days straight.

I share this with you as a cautionary tale. Parents Magazine does this in their monthly publication and I always read those. It really does help to know what could and has gone awry where safety and children are concerned.

So, consider this my safety mishap admission to you. Keep those medications out of reach and never, ever assume a rogue pill will not be enticing to a toddler or preschooler. This requires extra vigilance especially if your child lives with someone who takes pills on a daily basis for a medical condition.

Pay particular attention to pills stored in a pill case or in a purse. How many times has your toddler played “quietly” while emptying out your purse?

Vitamins should also be kept high and out of reach. Even the children’s multivitamins can pose a danger. Iron contained in those vitamins can cause serious side effects if the child receives more than the recommended amount.

Keep the poison control number handy and if ever in doubt, call immediately and seek medical attention.

Poison control: 1-800-222-1222

Do you have a …it happened to me… moment that you would be willing to share?

16 Responses to It Happened to Me…
  1. Kimberly
    February 25, 2011 | 7:21 am

    EEKS! That's my worst nightmare. I take a lot of medications to control chronic pain and my postpartum depression. Once I was trying to open a bottle and half the contents spilled all over the floor. Luckily my son was fast asleep and I knew how many of the pills I took. I found each one. Whew.

  2. sheila
    February 25, 2011 | 8:19 am

    Wow, that is scary! Can happen to the best of us. Glad it all worked out!

  3. Lexie Loo & Dylan Too
    February 25, 2011 | 8:36 am

    I'm glad she spit most of it out! This is a great reminder to all parents!

  4. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points
    February 25, 2011 | 11:57 am

    Glad it was only one.

    Glad she spit it out.

    Glad she was fine.

    But still…*shudder*. So scary to think about.

  5. WicketsMom
    February 25, 2011 | 1:54 pm

    I need a way to discretely send this to my mother-in-law (who is a nurse). When my son was about 18 months old, I found a pill sitting on the couch cushion at her house. I questioned her about it and she shrugged and said "I don't know what it is." I looked it up online and found out it was a Xanax! When she has stayed at our house, I have had to tell her repeatedly to please keep her giant pill-minder box (full of various medications) out of our son's reach. She has even left it at our house twice when she left and not even realized it.

    Thankfully our son is nearly four now, and is not likely to try and eat any of them, but I keep all our stuff put up in childproor containers just in case. And she wonders why she is not allowed to keep him?

  6. Betsy at Zen-Mama
    February 25, 2011 | 3:26 pm

    I can't believe this never happened to us with our three boys. Our worst thing eaten was my 3 year old trying out a dead spider! I'm glad she's ok!!

  7. Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds
    February 25, 2011 | 6:54 pm

    That's very scary. I'm sure we could all stand to be more careful with medications in the house.

  8. Galit Breen
    February 25, 2011 | 9:54 pm

    Soooo scary, Melissa! I'm glad that everything is okay and that you shared your story- it's an excellent reminder!

  9. Liz
    February 26, 2011 | 7:33 am

    Does it count if my husband had to call poison control once because he put hemorrhoid cream on his toothbrush?

  10. Mrs.Mayhem
    February 26, 2011 | 8:08 am

    I'm glad your daughter is okay! This story is proof that a mishap can happen to any of us.

    I've had to call poison control a few times, the latest being when the school nurse made me call after the glue stick incident. They are always so wonderful and reassuring!

  11. WTH am I Doing?
    February 26, 2011 | 8:55 am

    Once after I picked up my son & stepdaughter from preschool/after care, they were occupying themselves in the living room on the couch. Then my son tells me "ew…this is gooey…" He handed me what was left of an Aleve gel cap they had *found* at preschool. They had been playing with it & it broke.

  12. Yuliya
    February 26, 2011 | 12:05 pm

    Crikey! Another thing to worry about! I'm starting to really baby proof around here and I will keep the meds in mind too…thank you! Glad yours were ok!

  13. Sherri
    February 26, 2011 | 6:34 pm

    One of my very favorite things about you, Melissa, is that you show that there are parenting things that can happen to anyone, even a doctor! And it makes us all feel normal and not shy about sharing and asking for help.

    So glad everything turned out OK.

  14. Dolli-Mama
    February 27, 2011 | 6:21 am

    This has happened to us before too! It's very scary, but it was tylenol, so it all turned out OK. You can never be to careful…

  15. Bug's Mom
    February 27, 2011 | 2:42 pm

    When I was about 3 I used a chair to climb up on the counte, opened a childproof bottle of baby tylenol and consumed what was left. My mom had no idea I could a) get on the counter or b) opens childproof cap. Sneaky sneaky.

  16. Marlene
    March 21, 2012 | 2:04 pm

    When he was 3, my son drank some of the Ich medicine for our fish. It contains all sorts of nastiness, including formaldehyde. It was impossible to tell how much he drank because he spilled it, too, but it was dark, staining green and so I knew he’s gotten SOME in his mouth. I learned then that ChildProof caps aren’t always childproof, and that Poison Control will call you back a few times to make sure the child is OK. They were very kind and reassuring.