Safety, Schmafety

When our daughter was teething, we became big believers in using Hyland’s Teething Tablets to bring some immediate relief to her pain and discomfort.

Our one year old is currently working on a new tooth, and melted down into a wailing fit of crankiness the other night – right about the same time I realized that we were out of teething tablets*.  Lovely.

*And no, despite what your Aunt Mabel says, we did not rub schnapps/brandy/whiskey/grain alcohol on his gums.  If anybody is drinking to deal with teething trauma, it will be Daddy.

Since I did not want a repeat performance over the weekend, I went out late last week and purchased a new bottle over my lunch hour*.  When I got home, I took the bottle out of the box and set it on our kitchen counter.

*Two observations from my lunch time Walmart run: 

1) The 90-year-old lady working the register essentially told me that I didn’t need to purchase the tablets because “placing a damp wash cloth in the freezer works like a charm”.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that neither of our kids were interested in chewing on frozen terry cloth, nor would my weekend plans involve being within 100 yards of a freezer, so she should just shut up and take my money.  Looking back on it now, I realize that I should have clarified her method.  Maybe the wash cloth does not actually leave the freezer and acts as a soothing transmitter.  Or maybe instead of dampening the rag with water, she used whiskey.

2) The north Walmart here in Lincoln is just as crazy at noon on a Thursday as it is on a weekend.  They must have been holding auditions for “People Walmart:  The Movie“.  Wowza.

Anyway, so the bottle is still on the counter when my wife brings the kids home from daycare.  As I’m talking to her, I look over and my four-year old has grabbed the bottle.  She’s opened it up, and is trying to fish the tablets out with her finger (don’t worry – we normally give the little guy four at a shot, and I doubt she got more than two).  I take the tablet bottle away from her and go to put the lid back on.  That is when I noticed this:

A four year old did this.

“SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION” apparently does not apply to four-year olds.

My four-year old daughter had somehow managed to open a brand new bottle without disturbing the safety seal.  Seriously, it was not torn, stretched, or otherwise altered.  The printing on the band – which reads “SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION” – laying there fully intact, mocking my faith in product safety measures designed to keep my kids safe.  And it is not like she was trying to see if she could open the bottle without disturbing the safety seal.  My girl is not exactly known for her subtlety in opening something – as witnessed by the dozens of boxes she has mangled while trying to open.

I would likely find it rather ironic that a four-year old was able to remove a medicine bottle cap with the safety ring still in one piece – except this is my kid we’re talking about.  If a four-year old could easily access a drug that is sealed for her protection, how do I know that her curiosity won’t get into a different medicine bottle without me knowing?

I do take some comfort in knowing that we keep our medicines out of the reach of little hands, and I know that teething tablets are closer to Tic Tacs than prescription narcotics.  That said, I’m still a little unsettled by the incident.  I feel like it is another reminder that as a parent I must always be on the look out for potentially dangerous situations to keep my babies safe.

I just didn’t expect it in this form.

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