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Tylenol Overdose

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Tylenol OverdoseI’m considering this a warning to move anything poisonous way, way out of reach of a toddler.

I was putting my daycare baby down for her nap this morning. My toddler decided to go looking through her diaper bag, and finds a bottle of Tylenol. Either daycare baby’s mom didn’t do the bottle up properly, or somehow he gets the lid off and I come out to find a pleased looking toddler holding an open bottle of Tylenol.  I called baby’s mom, who says she thinks the bottle was just over half full. Now, it’s about one third full.

“Did you drink any?” I ask the Toddler. “Yes!” he says.
Me: Did you really?
Toddler: No.
Me: You didn’t?
Toddler: Yes!

So best case scenario, daycare baby’s mom used more Tylenol than she remembered and he didn’t drink any. Worst case scenario, he’s drunk a third of a bottle of Tylenol. I call poison control, who say to take him to the emergency room. I bundle up the kids, give thanks that I live five minutes walk from the ER, albeit with curses for the people who have not shoveled snow from their sidewalks on the way.

Aside: The telephone number for Poison Control is 1-800-222-1-222. It’s a free, 24 hour hotline who will help with first aid in a poisoning situation, will tell you what the most appropriate treatment is, and can call an ambulance for you if necessary. If you know or suspect someone has eaten or drunk anything poisonous or harmful, call Poison Control.

The ER doctor works out that the worst-case scenario third of a bottle would be a serious overdose for a toddler, and after waiting around for two hours, they take blood to test for Tylenol in his bloodstream. Apparently, Tylenol levels in the blood peak at around four hours, so if it’s unknown whether the child actually drank the medicine or not, it’s necessary to wait for a couple of hours before testing blood. Another hour wait.

Toddler is thrilled by the trip to the ER. He loves having his ears checked, his chest listened to, and generally being examined by the doctor. The nurses put him in a gown, which is apparently a “dress”. The family in the room next to us has a sick baby and a healthy toddler. The two toddlers engage in a dance off in the corridor. The dress is now a “dancing dress”. Toddler dances so hard his diaper falls off.  Daycare baby applauds.

I feel like an awful mom, but at least the kids are having fun.

The doctor comes back with the lab results. There is no Tylenol whatsoever in Toddler’s blood.

I didn’t know whether to cry or shout at him but I’m mostly overwhelmingly relived that he hadn’t actually drunk any Tylenol. Give Toddler a big hug.

No more Tylenol in diaper bags. And I think I’ll get him a play doctor’s set for his birthday.


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