So this past week has been literally the worst week of my life as a parent. I spent a lot of time in my head wondering if I should even write this post or not, but then realized part of the reason I started this blog in the first place was to share my experiences with people, the successes AND the failures. Tuesday was a HUGE failure in our household.
It started early, Abbey woke up with red puffy eyes filled with gunk and I immediately assumed it was pink eye and called the doctor. They squeezed us in for a quick appointment and after we were seen, the doctor determined the eye infection was a result of an ear infection…one so nasty the bacteria backed up and caused the eye infection… pretty gross, but also pretty common. I had been up the night before with her because the symptoms had started around 5pm Monday night, and I just knew something was wrong. I spent the majority of the evening cleaning her little eyes and comforting her. I got little solid sleep.
When we got home from the doctors, I gave Abbey her medicine, Amoxicillin for the infection and Children’s Motrin for the pain, discomfort and slight fever. I knew more than anything it would just help her sleep and feel better. I went about my day, cleaning up, preparing for a Tutorial Tuesday post (which will happen next week instead) and getting dinner ready. After nap time we played and she seemed much better, not totally herself, but definitely better.
Everything in our household was regaining its momentum until after dinner… I changed Abbey into her PJ’s and got her ready for bed and we were sitting down watching a movie. Abbey, being the 17 month old child she is, refused to calm down before bed and was off exploring, which she does every night. I was sitting in full view of her and Charlie asked me if I could see her. She was standing right by the trash can, and then she was gone. I got up to grab her, but in those 10 seconds she proceeded to get under the sink and into the cleaning products. She had grabbed the Pine Sol, popped open the top and taken “a sip” as she called it. She was covered in it and I started to freak out. How could I have let this happen? She’s never expressed interest in the “under the sink” area before, and being busy people, let baby proofing that area slip our minds. She’s more of a drawer opener, than a getting into cabinets baby. I called poison control and Charlie read the bottle. We gave her water and milk and juice… anything to get her to drink. Poison control told us that Pine Sol is one of the most common calls they get. This is because of a few things…Pine Sol smells good and (apparently) a pleasant taste, the cap is easily opened, it literally is a pop top, no child lock, no twist cap. But because it’s made with Pine Oil, it can coat your throat and cause respiratory problems, and eventually you’re gonna puke it up… I’d say about 30-60 minutes after you ingest it. PCC told us to watch her over the next 1-2 hours.
My mama instinct knew she drank it. The kid steals cups of water and empty cans and asks “sip?” all the time. She was acting funny, stumbling around… partly I assume because it was now an hour past her bedtime, but also because it’s a symptom of drinking pine oil. As we watched her, Charlie googled what happens when you drink Pine Sol. Tons of stuff came up and I started to feel like less of a horrible mother, and more of just another mother of a toddler, though I still felt like the worst parent in the entire world. All she wanted to do was lay down and go to sleep, but I couldn’t let her do that knowing that if she had drank some she would still need to throw up, and that could cause aspiration in her lungs and even death.
About 45 minutes after the incident and already one PJ change, she threw up. Poor baby was covered in it and again we went to the bath (for her second one of the night) and I let her splash in the warm water to calm her down and put her in her 3rd and final set of PJs for the night. I watched her over the next 40 minutes until she fell asleep in my arms and then I put her to bed… and continued to check on her over the next hour every 10 minutes or so… Charlie immediately dumped out the Pine Sol and we swore to never use pine oil products again.
If you find yourself here because of the same reason… remember these tips:
- It’s going to be OK, so calm down.
- Call PCC and get some advice 1-800-222-1222 (I’m not a doctor, but they are)
- Don’t induce vomiting… let it come up naturally… cuz it’s going to regardless.
- Drink fluids. Milk, water, juice, anything.
- Watch them for the next 1-2 hours. Stumbling, dizziness, and vomiting are all signs and common.
- Don’t let them sleep/lay down. We don’t want them choking on their vomit and aspirating.
- Remind yourself that this has happened to other before you and will happen to others after and you’re not a bad parent.
- Throw away the chemicals and buy child locks. 🙂
I shared this story with a few people… ever so shamefully because I felt I needed to get it off my heart. I thought I would get a lot of “You should have watched her better!” and “Why don’t you have locks on the doors?!” and “I thought you were smarter than that!” but to my surprise so many peoples responses were “Oh no! I hope she’s OK, mistakes happen.” or “When I was a kid I drank bleach, it happens!” or “My daughter swallowed a bunch of Tylenol when she was a baby, no one’s perfect.” And I realized that quite honestly, no one IS perfect. Is it bad I assumed everyone would be negative and judgmental? or have I just hung out in momma forums too long? 🙂
The next day she was her crazy self and she had the gnarliest Pine Sol breath ever. A reminder of our parental slip the night before. As I did laundry, all I could smell was Pine Sol and it made me sick and it made me sad and it made me angry… and I started to make a list for the store. Charlie and I discussed living a cleaner and greener lifestyle. Whole foods and nothing processed, except as he says “sometimes, cuz everyone needs a cheat day or two.” (and I can’t honestly think he’s going to go from 0-60 overnight… the boy loves his Bud Light and Doritos) and it’s going to be a challenge… but it’s worth it to never have to worry about toxins in our house again.
I am starting a CLEAN LIVING pin board on Pinterest that I invite you to follow and I would love to hear your thoughts and tips on cutting out the waste and chemicals in your food and household products. Also expect lots more TuteTues on DIY products and recipes to keep you clean and healthy but not hungry and unsatisfied.