URGENT! DH accidentally gave 1 tbsp of tylenol to DS instead of 1 TSP - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-01-2010, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I am so mad right now I am fuming. I didn't even want DH to give tylenol, but DS spiked a fever, and gave him tylenol when I was gone. I can live with that, but the dosage is 1 TEASPOON (160 mg) and DH accidentally gave DS 1 TABLESPOON which would be 480 MG!!!

I am writing this through my tears. I called Poison Control, and they said that dosage is not toxic, and I even called my pedi's office, who confirmed DS could take as much as 10 teaspoons before toxicity occurs.

But I am still worried to death! Has anyone ever done this by accident before? I am about to divorce DH! (not really...but I am super mad...like steam fuming out of my ears mad)

Do you think I should be worried?

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Old 10-01-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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No, I don't. Poison Control really does know what it's talking about. And try not to be too angry with your husband. Mistakes happen.

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Old 10-01-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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My friend's DS ate a bunch of children's Tylenol cause he thought, of course, they were candy. My friend called Poison Control and they reassured her that the children's version has a very, very low dose of medicine in it. Later on, she took DS to the hospital anyway, and the nurse gave her crap for not bringing him in right away--until the doctor reassured the nurse that Poison Control were THE authority on the subject.

Her DS was just fine. No worries!!

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Old 10-01-2010, 12:33 AM
 
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It's happened in this house too. Poison control really does give good advice. Trust them! Give your dh a lesson on giving out meds (including checking expiration dates!) and then forgive him. Poor guy really tried to do the right thing. I bet he feels rotten!
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:39 AM
 
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When you calm down, go give your DH a hug. He is a parent too, and he was trying to do his best. I bet he does feel really bad.

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Old 10-01-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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And buy something that measures in mL so DH doesn't have to guesstimate when he's worried enough to dose your DS.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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A frustratingly easy mistake to make. We always use the dropper 'cause it's easier to measure in mL than by a tsp/tbsp plus it's easier to get ds to take it with the dropper.

When you're figuring out dose are you using the age guideline or weight? Weight is a better way to go - if I go by age for ds the dose is half of what it should be for his weight.

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Old 10-01-2010, 01:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reassurance. I know I need to forgive my husband. But he called me when I was gone *specifically* to ask me if he could give DS tylenol, and at first I said no. He kept pressing the issue so I told him he could give 1/2 a dose. Grrrr....

I know he feels like crap. Not to be a complainer, but my husband honestly NEVER listens to me. He *hears* me, but most times he couldn't repeat back what I said to him. He tells me he has undiagnosed ADHD, but I think it's selective. I think the sound of my voice must sound like those "Waa Waa" voices of the adults on Charlie Brown.

Anyway, DS is sleeping, I, because I am a worrier, probably won't get much sleep tonight.
But thank you ladies for chiming in. I love my DH, but lately feel like I want to ring his neck.

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Old 10-01-2010, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
A frustratingly easy mistake to make. We always use the dropper 'cause it's easier to measure in mL than by a tsp/tbsp plus it's easier to get ds to take it with the dropper.

When you're figuring out dose are you using the age guideline or weight? Weight is a better way to go - if I go by age for ds the dose is half of what it should be for his weight.
I have always just dosed by the guidelines on the bottle. DS is 24 pounds, teetering on 25. I normally just use my cooking teaspoons for meds. And I always thought 2 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon. But tonight I find out that 1 tablespoon is THREE teaspoons! (I filled my tablespoon up twice, both times it only took 2 teaspoons...I am stumped)

How do I figure out what his appropriate dose would be?

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Old 10-01-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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you dose by *weight* and only ever give medicine from a medicine dropper or syringe, never from a spoon.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:30 AM
 
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you dose by *weight* and only ever give medicine from a medicine dropper or syringe, never from a spoon.
You can often pick these up for free from a pharmacy, although usually children's meds come with a syringe/dropper.

If not, they are just a dollar or two in the children's section at a drugstore and definitely worth having.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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He kept pressing the issue so I told him he could give 1/2 a dose. Grrrr....
It really isn't a great plan to under-medicate any more than it is to over-medicate. Give the proper dose by weight when it is needed. Also, only use a proper dosing device- a syringe is ideal at that age.

Also, why would your husband need to ask you for permission? I think you should both sit down to discuss some family guidelines and practices about medications so this won't happen again.


As for worrying- don't worry, Poison control really is a fabulous resource, they know what they are talking about. Get some sleep or take some time to reconnect with your DH who doesn't need your anger heaped on his guilt.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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Tell your dh to research how to safely give kids medications and teach you how to do it.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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If you are ever really worried, you can go to the er and they will draw blood levels-if there has been too much tylenol they'll have you come in and administer an antidote of sorts. We found this out when one of mine was younger and ate some "tic tacs" (tylenol). It was heart stopping, but fine in the end. It does take a lot of children's tylenol to do harm. Actually-we never give it anymore. I prefer Motrin if anything is ever necessary.

A note about the half dose--it's really not worth doing. You are giving an ineffective dose of medication so whatever issue you want to remedy won't be helped, and your child will have gotten unnecessary meds. It's not really worth doing.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If you are ever really worried, you can go to the er and they will draw blood levels-if there has been too much tylenol they'll have you come in and administer an antidote of sorts. We found this out when one of mine was younger and ate some "tic tacs" (tylenol). It was heart stopping, but fine in the end. It does take a lot of children's tylenol to do harm. Actually-we never give it anymore. I prefer Motrin if anything is ever necessary.

A note about the half dose--it's really not worth doing. You are giving an ineffective dose of medication so whatever issue you want to remedy won't be helped, and your child will have gotten unnecessary meds. It's not really worth doing.
What makes you prefer Motrin over Tylenol...out of curiousity. About the 1/2 doseage issue, it has always worked for me in the past, it was actually recommended to me by my chiro who normally doesn't suggest giving Tylenol for fevers. He said if I must give Tylenol, usually a 1/2 dose will bring the fever down a bit. It's always worked here.

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Old 10-01-2010, 02:05 AM
 
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you dose by *weight* and only ever give medicine from a medicine dropper or syringe, never from a spoon.
Agree with this. I only give meds from the device with the medication for children. I guess if I lost it I would get one from the pharmacy. Incorrect dosage of medication is incredibly common.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:08 AM
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I would be livid at my dh, too!!

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Old 10-01-2010, 02:38 AM
 
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What makes you prefer Motrin over Tylenol...out of curiousity. About the 1/2 doseage issue, it has always worked for me in the past, it was actually recommended to me by my chiro who normally doesn't suggest giving Tylenol for fevers. He said if I must give Tylenol, usually a 1/2 dose will bring the fever down a bit. It's always worked here.
Motrin is a better anti inflammatory in my experience. Additionally, while ibuprofen can be harder on the stomach, tylenol is harder on the liver. In some cases, it works to alternate meds every 4 hours particularly if the medications are used regularly or for an extended period.

Because over-the-counter dosing is so safely controlled, the half dose really isn't necessary, and doesn't have a benefit. Instead, it may be less effective or last for a shorter period of time, but there was no benefit to the smaller dose- it isn't significantly safer than the appropriate dose.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If you interpreted it that way, I apologize. I was simply wondering why if it is a big issue to you, you don't have some guidelines about it so there is a clear 'if the fever is over x or he seems uncomfortable for y amount of time' concept. I know in our family medications are handled by whichever parent is with the child at the time, with an agreement that while we don't like medicating excessively, there is a time and a place. We don't medicate for just a fever unless it is over 103, and we don't medicate for discomfort unless other comfort measures fail. It's kind of like standing orders in a hospital, but it keeps things clear for us. We also keep a medication log in the med cupboard and whenever a medication is given we write it there. It really cuts the risk of a missed communication.

As for being angry, I get it, but try to see it from his point of view. I know I would feel like poo if I made a mistake like that, and having my partner angry at me would make it all so much worse. Taking it in stride as a learning experience together (after all, you were using the wrong item with which to measure and under-dosing, so you learned from this as well) will probably lead to less of his tuning you out in the long run.
DH and I are first time parents, we don't have written out guidelines or a medication log. good idea tho. We haven't really had to give DS much in the way of meds yet, so it really hasn't come up much.

I am confused about one thing...what is the difference between a cooking teaspoon and a syringe/dropper teaspoon? Are they different amounts?

As far as underdosing, like I said, it's worked for us.

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Old 10-01-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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No, I don't. Poison Control really does know what it's talking about. And try not to be too angry with your husband. Mistakes happen.
This. So sorry mama, what a heart stopper for you and your DH! Poison Control is our best friend around here. I had a kid guzzle mouthwash, another one pried open a bottle of children's tylenol, and another sucked on a Sharpie. FWIW...when it says nontoxic, it really means it. Poison control has always been awesome as a resource.

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Thanks for the reassurance. I know I need to forgive my husband. But he called me when I was gone *specifically* to ask me if he could give DS tylenol, and at first I said no. He kept pressing the issue so I told him he could give 1/2 a dose. Grrrr....

I know he feels like crap. Not to be a complainer, but my husband honestly NEVER listens to me.
It's frustrating to feel like our partners don't listen to us, but can I gently suggest that you didn't exactly listen to him either? He wanted to give Tylenol, you 'said no'. Then you acquiesced to a half (ineffective) dose. Yes, there was a dosing mistake, and I completely understand being freaked out. But he can't learn to be a competent parent until he has the opportunity, without anyone granting or revoking permission. You learned to be an awesome mom through your own methods of trial and error, so he'll figure out what works for him.

Do you ask him if it's ok to give medication to your child? If you do, what if he said no?

I can't imagine requiring my DH to ask my permission to give the kids Tylenol. Sure, he'd let me know if he gave them some, and what it was for, but to ask me as if *I* made the final decision? Nope. I have to trust him to parent them, that includes OTC medications.

I hope you are able to let go of the anger soon, I don't blame either of you for being upset, verrrrry stressful to think of what 'might' happen.


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Old 10-01-2010, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Then you acquiesced to a half (ineffective) dose.
Like stated previously, half doses of tylenol have always done the trick for us in the past. I can't see how half dosing could possibly be a bad thing. We have primarily used the half dose method for DS when he was teething and in a lot of pain. It worked very well. Half the dose means less work for the liver.

FWIW, DH asked me if I thought it be a good idea to give DS tylenol to bring his fever down because I know a lot more about taking care of DS when he's sick than my husband does, as he is at work all day and I am a stay at home mom.

Yes, I always inform him of my decision to give DS tylenol or anything for that matter, but DH is not confident enough in that area to make a decision like that. He really doesn't know what he's doing. I will probably be ripped a new one for saying that, but it's true. There is really no way to sugar coat it or make it sound *gentle*.

This thread has somehow turned into a counseling session for DH and I, can we please just stick to the medication issue? Dh and I are fine. thanks

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Old 10-01-2010, 03:15 AM
 
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I would trust the poison control.

If you think about it, higher doses of pain relieving meds are given in some circumstances - more pain doesn't mean that the body tolerates more, it just means that a safer level of more is warranted to deal with heavier pain. Now, this isn't the case with your child, but what I'm trying to say is the body can handle up to a certain level just fine, and if poison control said not to worry, then let it go and move on. It was only 3x the 1/2 dose too, far from 20x [a half dose].

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This thread has somehow turned into a counseling session for DH and I, can we please just stick to the medication issue? Dh and I are fine. thanks
You brought up the relationship strife, so it's gonne get some feedback

I think plenty of people weighed in to give the overall answer to not worry, Poison Control knows what they are talking about, and go easy on your husband. He loves his child and I have no doubt he's feeling rotten for having messed up, and that is hard for a guy to admit. I have learned that I need to be VERY specific in some things with DH - I think a lot of it is gender and not stupidity. I understand that if this ended up being more serious, your anger would be more justified and you could go on with it, but just let it go.

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Old 10-01-2010, 05:27 AM
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That panicked adrenaline feeling is horrible isn't it. Poison control is great though. "Ask a Nurse" is good to call for other health issues, like high fevers and putting food up their nose. I am the one to give medicine to DD in our family too. Mainly because if only one person gives her medicine she can't ever accidentally get more than one dose. We also just use ibuprofen, because Tylenol can be very toxic taken at the wrong dose. The toxic amount is too close to a therapeutic dose for my comfort, at least in the adult strength pills.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:03 AM
 
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OH this thread made me think of a good one.

When DS1 was under a year (maybe 10 months?) He was at my MILs and before I got there, he had a mild fever and was teething. when I got there, she said she had some chewable childrens tylenol she had given him. Im like, OH, ok (my husband had been there, so she asked him first )

So we are all sitting around, DS1 is playing. And it dawns on me. SIL is 15. Why is she still taking chewable childrens tylenol? So i ask, MIL says, she doesnt anymore, i just still had some left over. Um, what is the expiration date on that stuff if SIL is 15!?!?!

yea, 2001. I almost threw up.

SIGH!
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:08 AM
 
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What makes you prefer Motrin over Tylenol...out of curiousity. About the 1/2 doseage issue, it has always worked for me in the past, it was actually recommended to me by my chiro who normally doesn't suggest giving Tylenol for fevers. He said if I must give Tylenol, usually a 1/2 dose will bring the fever down a bit. It's always worked here.
For my kids, motrin (ibuprofin) has been more effective, and seemed to last longer. I can't honestly remember the last time I used tylenol.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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I agree that undermedicating isn't a good idea, and hopefully this will prompt you and your dh to come to an understanding of when medication is appropriate.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:21 AM
 
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Motrin is a better anti inflammatory in my experience. Additionally, while ibuprofen can be harder on the stomach, tylenol is harder on the liver. In some cases, it works to alternate meds every 4 hours particularly if the medications are used regularly or for an extended period.

Because over-the-counter dosing is so safely controlled, the half dose really isn't necessary, and doesn't have a benefit. Instead, it may be less effective or last for a shorter period of time, but there was no benefit to the smaller dose- it isn't significantly safer than the appropriate dose.

This.
Also as a PSA, I don't use the dosing guidelines on the packages but Dr. Sears site as he goes by weights as has a much better range.

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/8/t089101.asp

Chart is at the bottom of the page. He has one just like it for motrin too.

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Old 10-01-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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Here's a neat write-up about dosing errors with the wrong spoons etc.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/0...he-wrong-dose/
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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Thanks for the reassurance. I know I need to forgive my husband. But he called me when I was gone *specifically* to ask me if he could give DS tylenol, and at first I said no. He kept pressing the issue so I told him he could give 1/2 a dose. Grrrr....

I know he feels like crap. Not to be a complainer, but my husband honestly NEVER listens to me. He *hears* me, but most times he couldn't repeat back what I said to him. He tells me he has undiagnosed ADHD, but I think it's selective. I think the sound of my voice must sound like those "Waa Waa" voices of the adults on Charlie Brown.

Anyway, DS is sleeping, I, because I am a worrier, probably won't get much sleep tonight.
But thank you ladies for chiming in. I love my DH, but lately feel like I want to ring his neck.
Being a parent is tough - but your DH doesn't need your permission to give your ds medicine when he's sick. He's just as much his parent as you are, and as long as he tells you how much and when so that you don't double dose on accident, he can decide that he needs medicine.

If you were out of the house, you weren't there. Maybe your ds needed the tylenol - mine does sometimes when he spikes a fever (and his ped has told to always give meds when ds has a fever b/c he's prone to febrile seizures - but I don't do it for low grade fevers).

Cut him some slack - he was home alone with a sick kiddo. Thats not fun, and its not easy. And it's pretty easy to mess up a dose when kid is crying or cranky and you're trying to get it quickly so that you can comfort them.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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OH this thread made me think of a good one.

When DS1 was under a year (maybe 10 months?) He was at my MILs and before I got there, he had a mild fever and was teething. when I got there, she said she had some chewable childrens tylenol she had given him. Im like, OH, ok (my husband had been there, so she asked him first )

So we are all sitting around, DS1 is playing. And it dawns on me. SIL is 15. Why is she still taking chewable childrens tylenol? So i ask, MIL says, she doesnt anymore, i just still had some left over. Um, what is the expiration date on that stuff if SIL is 15!?!?!

yea, 2001. I almost threw up.

SIGH!
I think my concern would have been, is the chewable stuff even made in doses small enough for a 10mo?

Is the expired stuff even harmful? From what I remember, expired meds lose strength, so the worst that would happen is the meds arent as strong?

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