Every parent of a toddler knows that despite your best efforts, they're going to get into something that they shouldn't at some point. But after a 3-year-old managed to do the unthinkable — consume a bottle of pills — one mom is warning parents instead of letting fear of mommy-shaming keep her from sharing her "mistake."
In an honest post about the terrifying ordeal, Stevie Niki shared what happened after her little girl managed to consume "20 to 30 capsules and six Strepsils"
Before I go further, I want you to know that I am well aware I will be judged for this. That the parenting police, childless experts, and the self- proclaimed perfect parents will persecute me. They're going to say, "Where were you?" "Why weren't you watching her?" "This would NEVER happen to me" and "My child would never do this." BUT the fact is, it's impossible to watch them 24 hours a day and accidents CAN and WILL happen. Sometimes accidents are small, they're broken pot plants, a smashed vase or a bump on the head and sometimes they're life changing, like a child falling into a pool, running out behind a car or like today, it was a child getting into the medicine cupboard and overdosing.
Niki is sharing her story as an important reminder to parents about what can happen if you become complacent. "Its easy to do, we fall into our daily routines, let our guards down within the comfort zone of our own child-proof homes and never expect tragedy will ever hit us," Niki wrote on her blog, My Tribe of Six. "It's easy to think 'that wont happen to us' but IT CAN . . . All it takes is the turn of a head, a lapse in judgment, children just playing, or a parent momentarily preoccupied for an accident or mistake to happen."
In Niki's case, the accident occurred when her little girl was playing in her room with her cousin. Niki was in her backyard with her younger child and niece. "I didn't give it a second thought to leaving her inside a few steps away in her room, after all our home is totally safe and kid proof," she wrote. "Well how wrong I was and let this serve as a reminder to NEVER underestimate the determination of a threenanger."
When she came back in, she noticed that the dinning chairs that are typically kept stacked (to prevent her 1-year-old from using them to climb), were moved to the other side of the kitchen and an empty medicine bottle on the floor. "It all started to click and that gut sinking feeling started to set in. See, my 3-year-old ALWAYS tries to take my 6-year-old's tablet each night when we give it to her and each night we explain to her that you DO NOT EVER touch medicine unless a doctor gave it to mommy and daddy to give to you," she wrote."Today the determination to have what her sister has over came her."
Even though the cabinet where she stores the medicine is above the microwave and difficult even for Niki to reach, the toddler had managed to push both stacks of chairs across the kitchen and scaled them to get the container of prescription medication.
Panicked, Niki questioned the child to see if she in fact ate them or put all of the pills somewhere. "Coy, with signs of pride breaming through she reluctantly replies, 'They're all in my tummy Mommy, Sissy's green and white ones and the big blue ones tasted like berries,'" she wrote. "After quizzing her a few times to make sure she did in fact eat them, a thorough and quick search to make sure she didn't dispose of them anywhere else, I can say without a doubt, she did in fact manage to consume 20 to 30 capsules and six strepsils. That's dedication, you wouldn't be able to force most kids to swollen one capsule, let alone 30."
After rushing to hospital, "riddled with guilt and total shame," Niki learned just how lucky she and her family are. "The medication she overdosed on was slow-release Melatonin which is the artificial version of the naturally occurring hormone in our brain that helps us to relax and go to sleep," she wrote. "There is no negative side effects to taking it other than she might have a decent sleep but the real kicker is, she didn't even start to fall asleep . . . trust one of my kids to maintain [a] hyper state after downing melatonin.
Niki realizes how drastically different the outcome could've been if her toddler grabbed one of the other bottles of prescription medicine sitting in that cabinet instead. "While you may potentially be on your high horse judging me, it really isn't something that is that uncommon . . . in the United States, approximately 60,000 children per year are rushed to the emergency room after getting into medications," she wrote. "You can never be too vigilant when it comes to your children but also remember accidents happen to all of us, even the most cautious of us. So don't be too quick to judge, instead, you too can learn from my mistake and instead of criticizing me, try to empathize with me because there is nothing anyone could say that could make me feel worse about it than I already do."
After her harrowing day, Niki couldn't be more thankful to safely tuck her girls into bed — with a few extra gray hairs and wrinkles!