NSW mum issues warning after 3-year-old “overdoses” on prescription meds

Stevie Niki

“Today she overdosed on prescription medication. Tonight I’m hugging her tight,” this emotional mum wrote after an accidental overdose gave her family the shock of their lives.

My Tribe of Six

Young mum and blogger Stevie Niki just posted a story about something that happened at her place yesterday and it’s a sage reminder to a) keep all medication tightly locked away and b) never assume your kiddos are doing what you think they’re doing! Stevie shared her story as a warning to other parents, but also hoped readers might think about how they judge other mums and dads – and appealed for a more compassionate approach, too.

Luckily Stevie and her 3-year-old’s experience resulted in little more than a terrible fright, but things could have been quite different, as this mum explains. (Read the full story on Stevie’s blog.)

“Today something happened in my home that could have been life altering and I want to share it because sometimes we all need reminding that we cannot become complacent as parents… We fall into our daily routines, let our guards down within the comfort zone of our own child proof homes and never expect tragedy will ever hit us. It’s easy to think “that won’t happen to us”  but IT CAN, it can happen to anyone,” Stevie wrote.

“Playing happily”

She detailed a day that sounds like any other lovely day with a bunch of preschool kids, until it wasn’t:

“My three year old was playing happily and quietly in her room with my niece. When we came back inside shortly after, I found the dining chairs that we have stacked (to prevent our one year old from using them to climb) were moved to the other side of the kitchen. I didn’t give this too much thought, that was until I found the empty medication container on the floor,” Stevie wrote.

Heart obviously in mouth, this terrified mum tried to get to the bottom of just what had occurred.

“Where is the medicine? Show Mummy where you put them? What did they look like? How did you do that?” a frantic Stevie asked her little girl.

“They’re all in my tummy Mummy, Sissy’s green and white ones and the big blue ones tasted like berries,” was the response.

“Like berries!”

The medication – which was meant for Stevie’s 6-year-old – had long been coveted by her younger daughter and she’d seized the opportunity to try some when her mum thought she was otherwise occupied. Needless to say this poor mum was scared and mortified.

“I can say without a doubt, she did in fact manage to consume 20 to 30 capsules and 6 Strepsils,” she revealed in a long blog post about the family’s scare.

Stevie rushed her daughter off to hospital in a panic. “Luckily”, Stevie’s 3-year-old had “only” ingested Melatonin, which doctors told her generally had no serious side-effects. They were able to go home after seeing a doctor. Phew with a capital P.

“Learn from my mistake”

It’s obvious that Stevie is feeling traumatised and horrified by what had unfolded. She hopes that people would learn from her experience instead of judging her parenting skills.

“Learn from my mistake and instead of criticising me, try to empathise… there is nothing no one (sic) could say that could make me feel worse about it than I already do,” Stevie wrote.

We’re sure that almost every parent has a “lucky escape” story, where they came close to disaster but narrowly avoided it. Indeed, as Stevie points out, many parents don’t get off as easily as her family did, in this case.

A big thanks to this great mum for sharing something so personal and exposing – in the hope of sparking discussion and motivating others to be mindful that this kind of accident can happen.

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