Parents with children that have lasting ailments, or even those that are prescribed antibiotics, know that one device or pill can save a life. Juggling the many things we need to bring along with us as moms, just to get through our little one’s day, can feel like a constant multiple choice test you can’t afford to flunk.
Without some kind of system, it’s difficult to keep your sanity and remember all of the dosages you need to help your child get better.
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First, let’s look at storage because most pill confusion starts with poor storage practices. You might think that loose lid box can fit into its own little pocket in the diaper bag, and maybe it will for a week or two, but a few months pass and things somehow end up there. The first item to get to avoid potential mixing of pills is better pill storage solutions.
A pill identifier is also handy because you don’t want to mess around with adverse drug events, as the CDC likes to call them. All pills have identifying markings on them, so you can use search engines like these (also accessible by phone), to get a better understanding of what you’re holding.
Medication at School
When your child needs medicine at school, you are responsible for it as the adult. Bring it to school and give it to another adult.
It may be helpful to contact the school ahead of time to discuss any special needs, or any special paperwork involved. For long-term medication, schools like to have records on file of what a student needs in the event of something occurring on campus. Most of this is a routine part of having a child with particular needs.
Avoiding Adverse Drug Events
If your child gets into the medicine cabinet and starts downing those chewable vitamins, you may need to seek emergency medical attention. So baby-proof your bathroom for medicines and potential poisons. Spend a day reading labels for everything in reach and putting things where they really belong, which is often much higher than counter level. Husband co-pilots may be needed for reaching.
Also, have a plan for if something goes wrong. Make sure you understand the routes to the hospital in your area, have doctor phone numbers ready to go, and that you have a plan for who to contact in the event of an emergency. You may have seconds, minutes or hours, so knowing your plan can make a difference for the survival of everyone involved.
Basic Safety and Considerations
Many phones contain some handy features that will help you. For medication reminders, just create timers using the voice assistants most modern phones come equipped with. Take the time to create a “Favorite” contacts section on your phone too. If something happens and you’re unable to get to your phone but someone else finds it, they may be able to reach someone close to you and get help.
Finally, make sure you practice proper disposal of medications. Ideally, you’re giving your child the entire dosage you have, especially if they are prescribed antibiotics. However, pills do get left over and some expire over time. Your first instinct should be to check with local authorities to find out what drug take back programs exist for safe disposal. If you are unable to find such programs, and you see these due dates are past, put unused prescriptions into a resealable bag and add water to dissolve any pills. You can then add sand, dirt or kitty litter to absorb the water and then dispose of them.
The CDC has an important recommendation that will help prevent some of the complications arising from accidental overdose. So, commit the number for nationwide poison control to memory: 1-800-222-1222.
Having a plan for an accidental overdose can often be as important as taking the steps you need to prevent it.