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  • Mom Shares Story Of Toddler’s Paracetamol Overdose: ‘Do Not Self-Medicate’

    She does not want her fellow parents to suffer and go through the same ordeal.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Mom Shares Story Of Toddler’s Paracetamol Overdose: ‘Do Not Self-Medicate’
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Mama Belle and the kids
  • Editor’s Note: The following is intended for information purposes only. It does not substitute a doctor. It is vital to always consult a medically trained professional for advice that suits your needs best.

    Paracetamol is commonly used to bring down a child’s fever or ease the discomfort brought by colds and flu. Because this form of medication is so familiar to us, parents do not hesitate to give it to their kids, not knowing that it can also be dangerous if their little ones are given too much of it.

    On our parenting community, Smart Parenting Village, one mom, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared her story to serve as a cautionary tale to her fellow parents: her 15-month-old toddler suffered from paracetamol overdose or paracetamol toxicity because she misunderstood the dosage instructions on the label.

    Giving the wrong dose

    *Sara (not her real name) shares in her post that it was her baby’s first time to get sick which is probably why she panicked and misread the label. She was also alone at the time and a first-time parent, too.

    “Naramdaman kong mainit siya. Kumuha agad ng thermometer and ayun nga 38.3 [ang temperature] so may lagnat nga siya,” she writes.

    Sara shares that since she had paracetamol in their fridge, she decided to give it to her toddler. “Binasa ko naman ‘yung instructions pero ‘di ko alam anong pumasok sa utak ko bakit imbis na 1.2 ml, 5 ml ang binigay ko. Nakasulat for 1-5 years old ay 1 to 5 ml… sa kagustuhan ko mawala agad lagnat niya, 5 ml ang binigay ko. Per kilo pala dapat ang bigay ng gamot.”

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    She continued to give the same dosage to her toddler every 4 hours for two days and thought that her child was recovering since she was slowly becoming active despite her on-and-off fever.

    On the third day, Sara brought her child to a pediatrician for a checkup. “Before kami umabot sa pedia, nagsuka siya ng konti. May halong sipon so akala ko sipon lang kung bakit siya nilagnat,” Sara recalls.

    After the doctor prescribed antibiotics to her toddler, Sara asked whether she was giving the right amount of paracetamol to manage her child’s fever.

    “Sabi niya 1.5 ml lang daw dapat, bakit daw ang dami ko pinapainom. Pasalamat daw ako dahil paracetamol lang dahil kung ibang gamot daw it can be fatal,” she shares.

    Little did she know that her child’s condition was taking a turn for the worse. Her toddler continued to sleep throughout that night and Sara thought it was because her toddler was regaining her strength. The next day, the child still slept the whole afternoon.

    “Hindi siya kumakain at kung dumede siya 5 minutes lang tapos makakatulog na ulit. Pagdating ng 6 p.m., biglang nagsuka ng konti at may halong dugo kaya sumugod na kami sa emergency room,” Sara recalls.

    When a pediatrician visited them the next day, the doctor asked why her child was just sleeping and sleeping. After Sara told her that she had given her baby the wrong dose of paracetamol, the pediatrician became worried.

    “Tinanong agad kung drops o syrup. Tapos nung nakita niya na drops, namutla siya at kaagad tinapat kami. Ililipat raw sa ICU ang anak ko dahil possible kidney and liver failure kaya hindi nagigising,” the mom shares.

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    Sara’s toddler stayed in the ICU for a total of six days. The child slept for another three days and whenever her baby woke, the child will just stare off into space.

    “Almost every day kinukuhanan siya ng dugo for lab tests dahil minomonitor ‘yung toxin sa dugo niya. Ang dami niya naging complications — hypertension, hepatitis, pneumonia, tubig sa lungs. Bumaba rin ang hemoglobin niya kaya nasalinan rin siya ng dugo,” the mom explains.

    ‘Do not self-medicate’

    Thankfully, her child was able to recover after an 8-day hospital stay. “Ngayon bibo na siya ulit at masayahin na and I thank God kasi ‘yung mga nurse at mga doctors na umasikaso sa kanya ay magagaling. They saved my baby’s life,” the mom shares.

    Sara admits feeling intense guilt with what happened to her child. But she bravely shared her story on our Village because she does not want her fellow parents to suffer and go through the same ordeal.

    “Sa totoo lang sobrang hirap makita ang anak mo na nahihirapan. Bilang first-time mom ito ang isa sa pinakamalalang pagkakamali ko,” she shares.

    The biggest lesson that she’s learned: “Do not self-medicate. At kapag naman tinanong ka ng doctors, dapat maalala mo lahat pati small details kasi baka akala mo wala lang pero ‘yun na pala ang cause ng sakit ni baby,” the mom says.

    In our comments section, Sara’s fellow parents thanked her for sharing her experience and for educating them. “Eye opener ito. Mas okay pa rin talaga ana mag-ask sa pedia before trying anything,” shared one mom.

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    “Let this be a guide that [we should] always consult professionals when dealing with things we are not familiar with especially when it comes to our kids,” said another.

    *name withheld at subject's request

    Click here for ways to safely manage your child’s fever, including when to see a doctor.

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