Putting Poison Control’s number in the speed dial

Putting Poison Control’s number in the speed dial

Today’s parenting lesson is that childproof caps are not necessarily childproof.

I was in the other room when Melanie called me to come quickly. Isabella likes to root around in her bedside table and that’s where Melanie keeps her multivitamins (so that she won’t forget to take it every day). Apparently Bella has figured out how to do the push and twist because she had the top off and a vitamin in her mouth. Melanie didn’t know whether Bella had already swallowed any so, I called the Poison Control Center.

The real danger is the iron content, but based on the amount of iron per pill, at her weight, she’d have to swallow 20 pills to do any real damage. We’re not sure she even swallowed one, so everything should be okay.

But now every pill bottle in the house goes on a high shelf, childproof or not. And another layer of parental peace of mind is stripped away.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
3 comments
  • As Mark Shea said saturday evening at Jim’s, “It’s childproof.  Someone go find a kid to help open it!”

    Yeah, I’m name dropping.  Make something of it!

  • It reminds me of that old NBC series, “ALF.”  In the episode where ALF was going to live with someone else, the father gave the following piece of advice, which definitely applies to my kids:

    “Make sure you put 9-1-1 on speed dial.  You’ll need that extra second or two.”

    Poison control IS on speed dial at our house.  I’m a 9-1-1 dispatcher, so I know it by heart, but my wife doesn’t… so there it is.

  • I had one child who needed a bandage, and so I pulled out of our kitchen cupboard the white basket that held all the first aid & OTC stuff in it.  I left the basket on the kitchen table while attending the bleeding child in the bathroom. Bad move. The toddler got the Dramamine bottle, opened it up and took some.

    I called poison control.  The operator tells me to count out the pills in the bottle (which was new and had only been used once or twice) to determine how many my daughter could have taken. 

    As I do this, the operator is asking me things like “What is the age of your child?” “What is her weight?” “How many pills do you think she might have taken?” So as I am frantically and nervously counting pills, she is asking me questions with numerical answers.  It was assumed by this count that she took 10 pills and we had to call the ambulance.

    When we got to the ER, one person attended my child while a nurse counted out the tablets.  She could have taken no more than two tablets. 

    I was greatly relieved but also a little miffed – if the operator had just let me count the stupid pills, we would have saved ourselves a lot of fear & the money from our insurance deductible/copay/ER fees, not to mention the ambulance fee.

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