As a parent, the safety of your child is paramount. You can spend hours childproofing your house, ensuring that nothing potentially harmful is within reach of little fingers. However, sometimes, your common sense can fail you or your memory doesn’t seem interested in remembering something super important. Last night we spent the best part of five hours at our nearest Accident and Emergency department with Princess Pants.
Yesterday, I noticed that Princess Pants had a little bit of a sore throat, and naturally dosed her up with Parapaed Paracetamol Suspension. However, after her bath I made the mistake of not returning the bottle to the top of the fridge, instead leaving it upstairs enabling PP to reach it easily. Around 8pm, we hear her screeching down the stairs that she had tipped the medicine.
She kept saying sorry to me, and when I asked if she had put any in her mouth she declared ‘5, 6, 7, 8, 11’. Obviously, she had no idea how much she had but knew she had put some in there. I spent a while baffled at how she had actually opened the bottle (she hasn’t been able to repeat the feat since!) and decided to contact NHS Direct, who, after an almost instant, insisted that we visit A&E.
On arrival at A&E, we repeated the story to the Receptionist and were sent over to the Children’s Unit to wait to be seen. By now, it was 9.50pm and PP was tired but otherwise fine. 10.15pm we get to triage, to be told (as I was expecting) that we would have to wait until at least midnight because they couldn’t take bloods until 4 hours had passed since possible ingestion. It wasn’t really a huge problem; Princess Pants was quite happy to play with the toys and, despite being tired was no problem.
Around 11.45pm, the nurse called us back in for the application of the ‘magic cream’ and a plastic plaster. At this point we were told that it wouldn’t be too long before the blood would be taken. However, this was the point I started to get wound up. I’m very afraid of having blood taken and get extremely anxious about it; knowing my child would be put through it was more than difficult for me. Within 15 minutes of her having the cream on she started to get upset.
Finally, at 12.30 we were called in to see the Doctor and after explaining the story for the 100th time the Doctor I was entrusting with my daughter’s wellbeing came out with the gem of the evening, “there’s a third of the bottle left, and roughly a third was gone before so she may have had half”. I really did look at him in disbelief (this guy passed medical school? Really? 10 minutes later PP had blood taken and we were advised that it could take an hour to get the results. It was at this point, I wrapped PP up in my coat and within minutes she was fast asleep. The following hour dragged by and the only way I succeeded in staying awake was by walking around the waiting room…
We were on our way home at 2am, with a clean bill of health. There was minimal paracetamol in her system and it was highly unlikely that she had ingested more than the recommended amount for her age and weight. Needless to say, we were extremely relieved as well as extremely tired.