Thursday, July 2, 2015

Why you should keep Benadryl on hand

I babysit a really great kid. He's easy going, friendly, and sweet. He also is terribly allergic to milk, to the point that he will have an anaphalatic reaction if he eats or drinks something with dairy in it.

We went to the pool a few days ago - it was pretty cool out, but it was also the only sunny day in the forecast after days and days of rain, so the kids were eager to swim. After about an hour, everyone was chilled and ready for a snack, so I broke out the lunch bag. The boy I watch had some money, so he decided to head to the snack bar to get some extras for himself and the other kids (I told you he was sweet).

He's 7, and he's usually really good about knowing what's OK for him to have, and I was wrestling with Tristan at the time, so I didn't realize that he had bought CHEESE popcorn! He ate about six pieces before saying "uh oh". I called his mom, who said to get him some Benadryl and have him drink lots of water, then watch to make sure he doesn't swell or choke.

Now, if I had been thinking clearly, I would have asked the lifeguard station if they had Benadryl. But I was too busy hating myself for the slip up on someone elses' kid and trying to pack up to even think about asking. Catie was having a teen moment and didn't want to leave the pool, because she didn't understand how serious the reaction could be - finally I had to explain that it was leave now or he would have to go to the emergency room. THAT got her going - full Florence Nightingale fluttering, super anxious about getting him safe!

I did a mental inventory of my medicine cabinet as I threw everything in the bag, and wasn't sure if we even had any Benadryl at home. I called a friend who lived a few blocks from the pool, but she didn't have any either - thankfully there was a CVS right at the corner. I left the kids in the car (sue me - Catie had it under control) and ran in, buying the single liquid child dose packages so I wouldn't have to open and measure a bottle. I got the medicine into him before he got past the itchy, numb lips stage, and the day was saved.

I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't been able to get the medicine so quickly. For example, if we had been out camping and someone had been stung by a bee, or my highly allergic husband stumbled into poison ivy (he doesn't usually swell up, just gets an awful rash, but still). So I'll be keeping those liquid ampules on hand in the future, just to be safe. And even if you don't usually use Benadryl, you should keep a few doses in your emergency kit - just in case.

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