Because School Means Sickness At Some Point

* I was compensated by the CHPA's Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, but all opinions are my own.  

No sooner than I start seeing Back to School signs do I hear/see parents complain about the shopping they must do for the dreaded ‘class list’. When your kid is in elementary (particularly if they attend public school) you as a parent are tasked with supplying not only your kid but the entire class with the basics. Tissue, hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes are the biggest concerns and requests. I don’t get it. I happily supply those items because I don’t MY kid coming home with the back to school seasonal cooties. Kids have the most virulent germs and what takes them a few days to have hit and recover will take us over a week. It’s awful. So, yeah, no thanks. This is why shortly after, the “Back to school” shopping, photos and general hub-ub die down you start seeing mama’s all over the web posting; “Mom down!” messages and inquiring about symptoms for some peculiar strain of virus that their child has brought into their home.
A return to school means an increase in being indoors and decrease of their immune systems as Brad who they haven’t seen all summer long brings back his virulent germs from his summer travels. Yay. Thanks Brad.

But not to worry because I’m #MomAF and have been doing this keeping a human alive thing for 14 years so I’ve got a whole arsenal at my disposal right?


Until we had Baby Ninja we never really thought twice about the Drug Facts label on most of the OTC’s we’d purchased over the years to ease whatever ailment Sweet Pea, or even ourselves, might have had.
But then when he was about a year-old Baby Ninja came down with a wicked cold/ fever. So I asked D to run out and get a fever reducer. I assumed he was going to pick up acetaminophen because that’s what I would have grabbed and is a generally KNOWN fever reducer, particularly among young children, but he didn’t. He grabbed ibuprofen. And while I was using the restroom he gave him some, and he promptly began to break out and seem to have trouble breathing. My mama heart fully stopped for a bit and I had a hard time not breaking out into a full on panic.
Apparently he has a slight allergy to ibuprofen. Who knew? Not us for sure, as the only pain/fever relief OTC I’d purchased for the kids had always been of the acetaminophen variety or something prescribed by their doctors. It was a #realmommoment for sure and one that I’ll never forget. As the daughter of medical professionals I’ve always thought I was well versed in the different ingredients of my “standard” OTC’s but I never thought about if my husband was or not.


When Sweet Pea took a Safe Sitter class with our city one of the things they required was that they know and were aware to ask about any potential allergies the child they were watching might have as well as medication they might be on.  Trust when I say I never, thought to ask that when I babysit.

And don’t get me started on what to take when you / they have multiple symptoms. I have been known to park myself on the floor of many a medicine aisle trying to find just the right thing to treat my family but not cause them undue harm (via an allergic reaction or worse).  WHYYYY are there so many different ingredients? 
We were truly lucky that Baby Ninja only had a mild reaction and we reacted quickly, but have been vigilant about what OTC’s we keep in the house and how we use them ever since.  I also make sure to keep all meds up high and out of reach and eyesight of the toddler set, because you know if it looks any kind of interesting, they’ll be all up in it.

Pro tip: If you are ever concerned that a child has gotten into an OTC medication accidentally, call poison control immediately: 1-800-222-1222


So mama’s and caretakers of young people, I implore y’all to take a gander at the Drug Facts label on any OTC’s you or your family might be taking. Because you never know how certain ingredients will affect you and you don’t want that late night dose of cough medicine to counteract with a mid-morning pain reliever. It could make things a little bit awkward during drop-off.

Just saying.  


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