My wife and I always felt we were very careful and conscious of the safety of our two children, aged four years and six years. But as working parents, mistakes happen. We came home from work one day and went through the normal nightly routine of preparing dinner. Earlier that day my wife had a headache, so had taken a few pills and then placed the open box in her handbag. Being at work she thought nothing of it.
Once home she left the handbag on our bed. We didn’t notice our daughter get into her handbag and eat some of the pills, swallowing an unknown number. We found her in the bedroom with chewed-up headache pills on her chin and around her. What scared us was that these were adult pills and the dose is so different for children compared with adults. My wife could not recall how many pills were in the box.
We had to get our daughter to hospital where she was monitored for a few hours for symptoms of poisoning, and then there was the ongoing issue of potential organ damage. Fortunately, she had not swallowed enough pills to be an issue. The shock was how quickly we went from organising dinner to going to hospital for something that, for my daughter, was just play.
When I found Juno ChildSafe online I was relieved that there was a product that can mitigate the risk in the future. It may also be a safe place to put my wife’s makeup now that my daughter has started to show an interest there.
- Alex, Summer Hill, NSW
I was at work when my husband called to tell me my two-year-old had taken some paracetamol that she had found in our bathroom cabinet. She had been playing doctors with our four-year-old son.
The paracetamol was in a bottle with a child-resistant cap, and the bathroom cupboard had a child lock on it.
My son knows how to undo the child lock, but I was surprised my daughter was able to take the lid off the medication bottle. She is very determined, and was at that age of being able to do things without understanding the consequences.
We weren’t sure how much she had taken because there were chewed up bits all over the floor, and on her hands and feet, so we took her to hospital, where she had a blood test.
Thankfully, she was okay and didn’t require any treatment. We now have two child locks on the bathroom cabinet, and I don’t buy bottles of paracetamol, because if a child opens the cap, they have easy access to the full contents.
- Charli, Qld
I have a deaf toddler and find it very difficult to safely carry his small, spare hearing aid batteries in my handbag when we are out and about. These batteries can be fatal if swallowed. Lots of families with deaf children have this same problem.
After road-testing the Juno Childsafe bag, I think it is seriously good. After a couple of practice goes, I've mastered the child-resistant lock. My almost 3-year-old, who loves using regular zips, had a try at it but couldn't get in to the Juno Childsafe bag zipper.
I love that the lock has a couple of simple steps, but is complex enough to stop a toddler or young child from gaining access to the contents of the bag. Well done for creating such a great product.
- Marion, Victoria
About 19 years ago, when my daughter Maryam was about two years old, she managed to climb up and get into the cupboard where I stored our medicines, and drank not one but two bottles of Dimetapp syrup.
There were no child locks or safety caps in those days, so I kept everything in a high cupboard above the washing machine. The cupboard didn’t even have handles – just a hole into which you had to put your finger to open.
Maryam managed to climb onto the washing machine and open the cupboard. I found her with the empty bottle of Dimetapp.
We took her to the hospital, where they observed her for a few hours. They were worried about a rapid heart rate. Thankfully she was okay.
Then the very next day the little rat did it again. I was very embarrassed taking her back to the same hospital. They were not very impressed. I think they thought I had left the medication within her reach. They kept her in again, and checked her heart rate.
The thing is, I had some really dangerous medication and other items in that cupboard, and I before this experience I thought they were safe.
After that I put my things really out of reach – even I had to get on a step ladder.”
- Sakinah, Sydney mother and grandmother