medicine dosing

This is a totally random post and something I recently thought about. If my experience can help just ONE person, then it was worth it! If you don't believe in medicating fevers (with Tylenol), then you should probably stop reading (and I'm not up for a debate). My goal was to keep him comfortable and I'm well aware that a fever is the body's way of fighting. Please don't take this advice as gospel. I am not a doctor and have no interest in having other people puke-pee-and poop on me. This is just something that happened to us, and I thought I'd share a little tip at the end to hopefully avoid all this again. Of course if you are worried about your child or any dose of medicine, they should be seen by their doctor. *disclaimer over*

Last June Luke spiked a really high fever (104.5+). I panicked, immediately gave him Tylenol, and followed the instructions to piggyback it with Motrin. His fever didn't go down so I called the Dr. Of course it was a Friday afternoon at 4:30pm, and since he was only 18 months he couldn't be seen by urgent care and they suggested I take him to the ER.

We were going on vacation to Florida and we planned to spend the night at my parents house in Atlanta that night anyways, so I made the call to skip the countrypodunk closest hospital and head to the Children's Hospital in Atlanta (this is after waiting a few hours with the medicine not working and I was having to change his diaper (obviously a stomach virus of sorts- every 30 minutes- totally gross.) We got to the hospital around 9:30pm. I thought MAYBE if the medicine could kick in, he would be able to sleep and he'd get over this in a few hours. But after 4-5 hours and his fever still as high as it was (plus he refused sleep- which is totally uncharacteristic of him) we headed in.

I thought sure we'd have to wait a few hours. I guess however I described his symptoms they fast tracked us in (like in front of 6 or so other families who were there when we arrived).

After being seen by a doctor, his diagnosis was an intestinal virus- and there was nothing they could do but let it  run it's course. I don't think there's anything worse (besides nails on a chalk board) than hearing that. I mean we could of let it run it's course without coming here (and paying the $600 ER fee). But the next thing she said totally made me feel like a failure parent. I was giving him the incorrect dose of Tylenol. I was always afraid of overdosing him, so I err on the side of caution ALWAYS. The fever is what sent us to the ER and had I been giving him the correct dose, his fever may have gone down more quickly (leading me to less panic, possibly keeping him out of the hospital).

It doesn't help that there are very clear directions on the infant bottle, and very clear directions for kids age 2+, but for babies between infant and toddler it's VERY gray. Probably because dosing is based solely on weight. I had a hefty baby. 23 lbs at 6 months old kind of spun all our heads. I didn't expect him to grow out of his infant car seat around 5 months.  So I was always confused about how to give him medicine (and I hate calling the dr. with every little problem).

This is a children's Tylenol bottle and under 2 years it says "Ask a Dr", but under the weight he was well over 24 lbs by 18 months- more like 30 lbs.

They gave us this awesome dosing chart (which should be included with the "owner's manual" when you give birth- haha right?)
 So I was giving him between .8 and 1.2 ml and he should have been getting close to 1.6ml in the infants dose or 5ml in the Children's dose. The nurse recommended switching to the Children's dose since he would be going through the infant dose so quickly (the bottles are itty bitty).

This whole event caused me to rethink how to handle medicine in our house. Of course I'm not going to unnecessarily medicate him, but last time I spiked a fever I was pretty miserable and just a bit of relief was welcomed! Also if we ever have my parents or a sitter watching him I want the dosing to be clear of what he is supposed to take. I have written his proper dose on each bottle in our house. That way when we need it quickly or if someone else is with them it's clear. I fear that I will be in a panic (like I was the day of his high fever) and wrongly medicate him by reading the bottle or internet wrong. And although I under medicated him, it could have just as easily happened the other way- and that could have been bad!
So my tip?? Check with your doctor for the right dosing for your child's weight... and write it on those bottles! He is right at 34 lbs, so I suspect by the time we get to the end of the Benadryl he'll be in the 38-49 lbs weight category. This also shed alot of light on adult medicine (how certain doses may work better for me than Josh because our weight is a difference of 50+ lbs) and how some medicine works better for him and makes me feel strange.

I seriously typo-ed DOES and DOSE this whole post! Sorry if I missed any after I proofed!

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