A week or two ago we had the ‘incident’ that is now referred to as ‘calpolgate’ as we shove the ‘-gate’ suffix on any sort of mishap or shock in this house!
Over the last 18 months NHS Direct has received numerous phones calls about Lily – some where I’ve just been seeking reassurance, some where I’ve been quite worried and some, like this time, where I’ve been full-blown pooing my pants about the situation.
‘I’ve finally broken her’ I thought (as if she was a doll) ‘Why the frigg did anyone ever think that I could look after a baby?’ (panic was setting in bigtime) ‘I only turned my back for a few seconds’.
So, here’s the story (and don’t worry, it has a happy ending)
Lily and I were in the kitchen and I was washing up under the window. I stopped to ring my Mum after turning and checking on Lily to see that she was still amusing herself with her draining board and plastic pots and went back to looking at the terrential rain through the window. I chatted to my Mum for a minute or so hearing Lily clash around with her toys behind me and then turned around to see what made me drop a big, scared F-bomb.
Lily was stood facing me with the lid completely off the calpol licking the rim of the bottle.
In less than a minute, she’d been in the changing bag, found the medicine and somehow taken the top off.
How much had she taken? How much was still in the bottle and how much had we used before today?
What would they do to her? Would there be long-lasting damage? Would she be OK?
I quickly checked the bottle to see that it was still about half full. That was 50ml of 100ml accounted for.
I noticed that Lily was starting to slip around and saw that she’d spilt a fair amount of calpol on the floor. The syringe applicator was still in the bottle so she would have had to have turned it almost completely upright to get a decent amount like that on the lino. OK, so maybe another 20ml there.
That left 30ml and I deduced that we’d used it 3 or 4 times since we bought it at the beginning of the year so the most she could’ve had was 10-15ml which was still a double/triple dose for a toddler of her age. I was slightly relieved that it wasn’t more but still petrified. It still sounded like enough to be seriously concerned about.
After lots of faffing around answering questions with the NHS and wanting to bang my head in a brick wall because whilst I knew they need to ask all of these things, time was ticking away (I didn’t think it was 999 worthy but I needed them to help quickly) I was advised that 40ml was considered toxic for a child of Lily’s age and weight. Anything below that ‘should be OK’.
I was relieved but still anxious. How could the buffer be that high? Would she really be OK?
I rang Mike and he suggested getting a medicine spoon and measuring out some calpol on the floor to see exactly how much was there rather than going off my guess of 20ml.
It turned out to be about right but I kept going, 5ml spoonfuls at a time, until I’d emptied the bottle completely. There had actually been 65ml left in the bottle, higher than the 50ml I’d originally thought, about 20ml had gone on the floor and I deduced that the remaining 15ml had been used for teething pain across the months.
So she’d actually had none of the stuff. Zilch. She was absolutely fine but phew, what a close call.
I put the top back on the bottle and made sure it was on tightly and the child-lock was working well.
I passed it over to Lily and thought ‘open that clever clogs’ and do you know what? She bloody did, pushing hard on the lid as she turned it round and threw it off and across the room.
Oh, crappity crap.
Here’s the deal fellow baby-herders, don’t for one second think that those bottles are child-resistant (like I did) and don’t underestimate your sneaky toddlers (again, like I did) because they know exactly how to get what they want and they watch you, they blooming well watch you and copy you and then you’re stuffed.
We were so lucky this time but we’ve certainly learnt our lesson. The replacement bottle of calpol is carried around in a screw-top plastic jar as double-layer security (quite handy for keeping spoons and stuff with it actually) and although it’s just one of those things, in that moment I was shaking in my boots. What a day!
Please tell me your little sproglets have done something like this before?
Have the medicine bottles in your house ever been breached?