Public service announcement

Child-proof pill bottles aren’t. At all.

When Lego was just over twelve months old, he got a bottle of Mucinex open. In our old apartment, there was no shelving up high in the bathroom, so we kept the medicines in a drawer below the sink. We almost always kept the bathroom door closed, but if I was in the bathroom for any reason, he’d follow me in and inevitably get into the drawer. I was supervising, so I’d usually just let it happen and then clean up afterward, shut the drawer, and shut the bathroom door. This one time, the Mucinex bottle rolled out of the bathroom and under the kitchen table. He found it later, and, when I was writing an email to my sister for ten minutes, got the child-proof cap off. And ate half a Mucinex.

Poison Control said that Mucinex was relatively harmless for a baby to get into and told me that child-proof caps are really only intended to delay children, not keep them out entirely. This was news to me. After this incident, we kept the medicines in the top drawer of Lego’s dresser, the highest place we could find for them. In the back of my mind, I thought Lego must be pretty smart if he could get a child-proof cap open at his age.

Today, Lego fished an empty bottle of vitamins out of the garbage. Somehow, Baby (the little boy I watch) got his hands on it and, in five minutes while I was wiping down the kitchen countertops, got the cap off. I actually watched the last two seconds as he nonchalantly twisted and pulled, and voila! The cap was off. Thank goodness that one was empty. Apparently my little boy isn’t so uniquely brilliant after all.

I put the cap back on but didn’t put the bottle away. After all, both boys cried a lot when I tried, and I figured it was safe without anything in it. Kids make toys out of the strangest things.

I just noticed that the lid’s off again. I think it was Lego who got it off this time. Some childproofing.

Please, if you read this, tell all your friends and acquaintances and even enemies that childproof medicines are not necessarily safe. Even babies and toddlers can get them off with relative ease.

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