The other day Fiona was found riffling through the medicines in our house. I didn’t think she could get into any of it… Child proof containers right???? Well seconds later she had eaten and swallowed a cherry flavored Unisom… which is a sleeping pill. My initial thought was… “maybe she will take a long nap today?” Chuck did not share this thought and was quite upset. He took Fiona into the bathroom explained that she just put something poison in her belly and told her she needed to throw up. I was a little worried at what the reaction of a two year old would be to a finger in her throat to induce vomiting. Yet after the fact she exclaimed “All better” and resumed her usual activities… and took a normal length nap.
This little incident which now makes four phone calls to poison control in less than two years got us thinking about what we have in our house. We made the decision to drastically clean out the medications and pills from our house. I was surprised at how much stuff I had that was really potentially harmful to her and NOT hard to open. Also much of it was expired and needed to be thrown out anyhow.
Fiona sat and watched as I opened all the bottles and poured out the brightly colored contents. She was convinced that I was getting rid of a candy stash and cried to be able to eat medicine. She even picked up an empty pill bottle and carried it around like a dolly for awhile. I kept trying to explain that medicine is not candy… but how can you convince a kid of that when pills taste sweet and are bright and colorful. I understand that sugar and sweet coatings are given to pills to make them easy to swallow… but I think it makes it too easy for kids to be confused and ingest things that are poison to their little bodies.
In nature poisonous things are bitter tasting and foul… a built in protection system to prevent us from ingesting harmful things. I think pills should not be flavored and brightly colored and coated to serve as a warning to kids taste buds. But then again my kid sometimes licks the bottom of shoes…
With that said, for us we feel the best medicine is *no medicine!
*We are now using more essential oils, flower essences, herbs, and whole food vitamins to deal with the physical ailments of life.