My Son overdosed on antihistamine- be careful

Posted on: Wed, 05/14/2003 - 10:34am
jennilee's picture
Joined: 06/18/2001 - 09:00

What a day we had yesterday. I woke up to my three year old PA telling me that he had taken his medicine. I immediately asked his dad,(who very kindly had given me a bit of a sleep-in). Dad didn't administer any medication. Through my panic I managed to ascertain that Jedd had snuck into my room and taken his med bag. He had removed the child proof lid off the Phernurgan, and used the medicine cup to drink the entire bottle.

He then became wobbly, and wet himself. On arrival at the ER, they of course wanted to know what quantity he had consumed. I honestly didn't know how much was in that bottle. They worked out that he had taken 7 times his normal dose.

He did become very sleepy, then his pupils dilated to the size of peas, and he became very aggressive for about an hour and a half, thrashing himself about, kicking and punching anyone near him(including myself).
Iwas so scared for him. The GP was worried that he may have a seizure.

Eight hours later we came home. He had calmed down, and his obs were OK. I feel so negligent, and cross with myself. The GP was very sympathetic, and told me to look at our situation. I have carried that medicine around with him for nearly two years, and he's never touched it. She has advised me to mark the bottle when I administer the medicine so we know how much is in there.

I keep saying what if?, but it's happened. I need to think about how to have it safely around the kids.
Any thoughts? (non judgemental would be appreciated as I am feeling quite low)

Posted on: Wed, 05/14/2003 - 11:36am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

so sorry to hear about this but glad things are okay now. fortunately all my kids HATE to take medicine of any kind. my youngest (age 4) does take her benadryl when necessary (she calls it her "sleepy" medicine) but doesn't look forward to it at all unless she's itching miserably. i feel lucky that mine have never shown any interest in meds (they won't even take vitamins unless i force them to). my goodness, i wouldn't be too hard on yourself. this could have happened to anyone. who'd have thought he'd all of a sudden have an interest in sampling the meds from the bag if he had never shown any interest before? you couldn't have known. i would probably cry and yell and fall apart and then thank him for telling you quickly. at least he was comfortable enough to come tell you. my kids would have probably been afraid of getting in trouble and withheld the info. from me if they'd done something they might get in trouble for. hopefully the little guy now knows not to give himself anything without asking mom/dad first. if it makes you feel any better, our med bag is down and accessible all the time, always has been. now that i've heard your story it will be going up and out of reach of everyone but the adults in the house. thanks to you, i realize this could happen to one of my kids or any number of visiting young children that rotate in and out of here. i'm so glad your son is okay...what an experience for you.

Posted on: Wed, 05/14/2003 - 11:41am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I am so sorry! That sounds absolutely horrifying!
Did you find out if there is another type of childproof cap you could use, since your son has figured out how to open that one? It is amazing that a 3 yr old could open it!! I have a ten year old and she can't even open a bag of chips by herself!!!
Don't blame yourself. You never could have anticipated it. I'm sure the entire experience was very unpleasant for your little Houdini, and hopefully you'll be able to convince him not to try it again. Thank goodness he was bright enough to tell you what he had done.
I'm glad he's made a full recovery. I had to bring my son to ER once after he sprayed himself in the face with tub cleaner. He doesn't get near the stuff now.

Posted on: Wed, 05/14/2003 - 12:35pm
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Jenni, Im so glad your son is ok. Dont blame yourself. In the situation we are in we have to have that medication somewhere handy and unlocked so it is quickly accessible to us. You do that so that if you have to you can save his life, not because you are negligent or a bad mom.
If it makes you feel any better Ive had to call poison control once for each kid, my youngest tried to eat a dishwasher tablet!!
Luckily your son didnt have a seizure or have to have his stomach pumped or anything. Just try not to be so hard on yourself. Im sure it was very scary, but he is ok. And you may have saved someone elses child who could have had an even worse result. Life with kids is always a learning experience! Hang in there!

Posted on: Wed, 05/14/2003 - 3:53pm
jennilee's picture
Joined: 06/18/2001 - 09:00

I think I am a lot calmer now. The whole experience was very frightening. Sandra my son's nickname is Houdini. My mom couldn't beleive he had got the child proof cap off as she has trouble with it.
He is a bit sedate today. I have spoken to him about the whole ordeal. I told him that he is a good boy for telling mommy, but a silly boy for taking his med without mommy. He didn't like hospital.
I think it was more the pooing his pants(which he has never done), and vomiting.
I don't want him to hate hospital, as it may make him petrified if, and when we need to go back.
I think I am still in shock. I have so many mixed emotions. I am proud of him for telling me, I am cross that whilst I was sleeping..., I am very tired.

Posted on: Wed, 05/14/2003 - 11:04pm
mattchrismom's picture
Joined: 02/12/2003 - 09:00

I'm glad everything is now ok for you and thank you for posting this experiance because it has opened my eyes as to what can happen. I keep my 3 yr old ds meds in my purse and he frequently goes through it looking for money but I wouldn't put it past him to open his bottle of benedryl thank you again for posting your experience

Posted on: Wed, 05/14/2003 - 11:37pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

What a Catch 22 we all live in.
I keep meds and epi in a zippered pocket of my purse. There is one place downstairs that it is kept through the day, and at night it is in my bedroom -- on the floor.
My fear has been that my son would get hold of the epi-pens, but all those meds do look like candy. I don't carry around any liquid meds, but children's chewable and adult strength antihistamines.
Thank you for sharing this experience with us. It [b]could[/b] have happened to almost any one of us, but now we can rethink our routines. I still won't lock stuff up - in an emergency I don't have time to hunt a key - but I'll have hooks put up to hang my purse on.

Posted on: Thu, 05/15/2003 - 12:41am
kcmom's picture
Joined: 12/18/2001 - 09:00

I was in your same situation just two weeks ago. My 2 1/2 year old dd was watching a video in our bedroom. We left her alone for about 3 minutes. Now, when I left the room she was just laying on the bed watching her movie. When I came back into the room I found a pile of wet ibuprofen. The bottle was on top of a very tall dresser in a "childproof" bottle. And she had to climb across the dresser, as they were on the opposite side! (my dislike for dusting came in handy here as we could see her little marks in the dust!! [img][/img] ) In that 3 minutes she managed to climb up to the top of the dresser and get the "childproof" cap off and get them in her mouth. (We found out she used my vanity to climb up, the vanity is now in the basement! [img][/img] ) So we thought we had the medication completely out of her reach and in a container she couldn't open, but she did. And we never usually keep them there, they were just there because I was sick and having to get up in the middle of the night and take them. ANYWAY.......
so there are 11 sucked on ibuprofen sitting on the vanity. I checked her mouth and called for my husband. We had no idea if she actually swallowed any or how much. It was a bottle of 100 and I had no idea how many were in the bottle but there were 39 left including what she spit out. (I did know that I had taken a lot though and we had the bottle for months) I called the doctor, he told me to call poison control. They said for her to have any negative affects she would have had to swallowed at least 20, for her age and weight. We don't think she actually swallowed any. Her instinct would have been to chew them and there was no residue in her mouth. And the fact that they were just wet and spit out was a good sign. But, I was just so scared! I kept kicking myself and thinking how awful a mommy I am for letting medication out. The poison control lady suggested to buy medicine in small quantities, like ibuprofen in a bottle of 25, that way if she would get some we would have a better idea of how much.
I thought this was a good suggestion. We just had to watch her for 6 hours to make sure she didn't act funny. She was fine.
For days though I beat myself up about it. Then my best friend said something to me that made me feel better. She said "accidents happen, you should not feel bad at all. It's when it happens again because you didn't do anything to prevent it from happening again that you maybe should feel bad." We all have these things happen because they teach us things. I have learned my lesson and I assume nothing is out of my little 'houdini's' reach now!! [img][/img]
You are not a bad mommy, you are a wonderful mommy! Keep up the good job!!! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 05/15/2003 - 3:47am
jeancbpugh's picture
Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Don't beat yourself up. It could have happened to anyone.
We keep our PA son's medicine bag on a hook by the backdoor that is very high. I reach it on tiptoes. PA son would need a stepladder (and there isn't one in the house.)
The hook is very handy. We always know exactly where the medicine is, and can't get out the door without seeing it is never forgotten.
** son with PA **

Posted on: Thu, 05/15/2003 - 6:28am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I got a very small child-proof bottle from a formulation pharmacy (holds about forty mLs I think) and put about four doses of Benadryl in for our emergency kit.
(The dosage window for Benadryl is sufficiently wide that this much won't really hurt her)
This way I don't have to worry about her overdosing and I can still leave the med bag where she can get it before we leave the house (we're trying to slowly make this her responsibility).
Thanks for sharing, though- this is a good reminder for all of us to remember that our kids are just kids, even when they act so responsible most of the time... [img][/img] I am glad your child is OK.

Posted on: Thu, 05/15/2003 - 8:14am
Ms.Belinda's picture
Joined: 05/11/2003 - 09:00

My also three-year-old son is getting completely untrustable. He's very into patterns and symmetry, and if we leave him alone for two minutes, he springs into action and everything is out of the pantry in a lovely aethetic arrangement on the floor. That's find if it's cans of tomatoes and baby food, but NOT FINE when he's got his Epi-pens out into the mix! He likes to lay them end to end, and in a way, I'm glad he's comfortable with them (since they'll be with him all of his life), but I'm afraid they're going to "go off" and become useless when we need them, or he'll puncture himself accidentally. We keep them and the Benadryl in his backpack, which goes with us everywhere, so I always know where they are, but we don't have central heating (we're in New Zealand - DON'T ASK - I have ISSUES), and since the syringes have to be kept at room temperature, we're constantly moving the backpack. It's a real pain! And because of that constant moving, we're risking overdose, I know it. So, here's my resolution: A HOOK HIGH ON THE WALL IN OUR BEDROOM FOR NIGHT-TIME, and A HOOK ON THE WALL IN THE FAMILY ROOM FOR DAY-TIME. Does that sound adequate???

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