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You Drank what?!

Poison control fields a call every 15 seconds every day of the year.

1 in 9 kids are seen in an emergency room for an unintentional injury. 

I was not worried. I am a careful grandma. I understand the attraction of kids to colorful liquids and dangerous situations.

Well, this grandma is here to tell you other careful grandparents and parents:

You cannot be too cautious.

My family is very safety-conscious. We use outlet protectors. We lock up medicine. We have door latches on those cabinets where poisonous things are kept.

It isn’t enough.

A week or so ago my daughter and I were driving with her 2 kids aged 3 and almost-2. In the car they were safely buckled into approved car seats. We had a bin of safe car toys to keep them occupied as we drove.

In this bin was one toy mobile phone. Only one. What were we thinking? Of course this was the toy that both kids wanted. The older one had it – making pretend phone calls to her uncle and her cousin. The younger one asked for a turn. Then cried for a turn. My daughter tried telling them to share. The crying escalated. The pretend call continued – the sharing did not.

There comes a time when crying by a toddler reaches into your very innermost raw nerve and is equivalent to fingernails on a chalkboard together with a root canal.

It is at that point that my daughter said, “IF YOU WON’T GIVE HER THE PHONE, JUST GIVE HER SOMETHING SO SHE STOPS CRYING!” Momentarily, mercifully, the crying stopped. There was peace again in the world.

I continued driving (at a legal, but high rate of speed on the Interstate). My daughter casually looked back to see what her youngest was now happy to have…

A small purse-sized container of hand sanitizer. Which she was drinking.

Blood curdling screams followed along with children crying and me trying to stay on the road. My daughter retrieved it and looked to see that about 1/10 of the half-ounce container was gone.

Next was the frantic mobile phone search for the poison control number – which is, of course, prominently displayed at home – but not entered into either of our phones (we are cautious, we protect our kids from dangerous poisons – remember?).

Happily, she would have needed to consume twice the amount in the entire bottle to have caused harm according to the poison control angels. (Thank goodness they are there at the end of the phone!)

Hand sanitizer smells horrible. I am certain it tastes disgusting. Yet, she drank it. So, lesson learned:

No matter how careful, cautious and conscientious you are – you cannot think like a toddler.

Please be vigilant! For your reference (and entering into your own mobile phone contacts):

Poison control: 1-800-222-1222

Sue Klein

Sue is a mom of two, grandmother of four and daughter to her own mother. She blogs about all things 'grandma.' ...

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