Saturday, December 08, 2018

What to Do When Your Baby Grabs a Bite of Poinsettia

This is a repeat of a blog post from a few years ago, mostly because it contains one of my most exciting Christmas shopping memories. Since I wrote this, I've started carrying rat poison (also knows as prescription blood thinners) around in my purse. I'm so glad my kids are all old enough to understand the concept of fatal internal bleeding.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my supervisor at work told me a very sad story about the little neighbor girl who drank bleach. Have I ever mentioned that I was always paranoid about keeping the bleach and drain cleaner completely inaccessible to my kids? Nasty cleaning supplies, vitamins, medication...all of that stuff was where they couldn't get at it. I didn't know about the button batteries until after my kids were old enough to know better than to swallow them or I'd have been afraid of those too.

It was the weird little things that gave me trouble. I mean, who gets mad and deliberately swallows his older sister's tooth? Who eats a glue stick? Or tries to suck the ink out of an empty printer cartridge?

And why would anyone take a swig from the bottle of food coloring?! (Not to mention, who got it down from where I had it hidden?)

The nice man at poison control actually laughed at me and suggested I take pictures to blackmail my child with once he's older. I was pretty sure that it was harmless, but wanted to be prepared with real answers when Daddy got home and I had to explain the dark green teeth.

There are also the things that you can't believe they got their hands on. I was Christmas shopping with my youngest in my arms, digging through my purse and standing in the checkout line. With that awful speed that only toddlers headed straight for trouble have, my son reached right over my shoulder, grabbed a fistful of petals from a poinsettia display I hadn't even noticed, and stuffed them into his mouth.

That scared me. It was too early to call the doctor's office and I was in an absolute panic, imagining my little baby in the emergency room getting his stomach pumped. Called the emergency line for our HMO and used up all of our cell phone minutes for the month waiting on hold -- and they had me call poison control. It turns out that poinsettias aren't as deadly as we've all been warned they are.

If you even think your child might've gotten into something, give them a call. They've added an app and an online search function since the last time I needed their services, which might also be useful. I'm convinced that they have information about everything (Including ink cartridges...did you know that those have antifreeze in them?) They'll tell you what symptoms to watch out for. Or if, God forbid, you need to head to the emergency room.

Every single time I've called they've told me it was going to be just fine.


 Note -- if this seems like a lot of calls for one Mom to have made to poison control, please keep in mind that it was spread over four kids and more than twenty years!

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