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Springtime Allergies: I Panicked And Called The Pediatrician

Sometimes I feel like single motherhood makes me more neurotic. Case in point: Over the weekend, springtime allergies got the best of JD. He was all stuffed up and his nose was running constantly. He didn't have a fever and when I asked him what hurt he said, “My nose.” I asked why. “It’s all wet.” So nothing really hurt, he was just bothered by the discomfort of the congestion. This is pretty much JD’s first time dealing with seasonal allergies and I’ve never given him allergy meds before. I have Children’s Benadryl in the medicine cabinet in case of an allergic reaction to food or a bee sting, so I pulled it out, knowing it would likely alleviate the runny nose and congestion. But there was a problem.

It was 8 PM on Saturday night and the dosage information on the bottle said: Kids 6-11, 1 to 2 tsp every 4 to 6 hours. Children 2-5, do not use unless directed by a doctor. Now, JD has taken his fair share of Tylenol and Motrin to combat fevers and pain from ear infections. His Ped told me I could give him 1 ½ tsp due to his weight and age, so I imagined the same for the Benadryl. Good thing I am neurotic. I knew enough to know that Benadryl would make JD sleepy and this kind of freaked me out (no, it really freaked me out). What if it made him too sleepy or dopey!? I started to legitimately panic.

This is when single motherhood gets tough—you have no one to consult with at 8 PM when your kid is sick and, yes, even though that other person (husband/boyfriend/co-parent) may not have the answer (I mean, the dosage was not on the bottle!)—it’s comforting they are there with you—at your side. Even to say, "Relax. WE got this." So, with no other options and a very uncomfortable 3-year-old, I called our pediatrician and left a message with the answering service. JD watched cartoons and I wiped his nose while I waited for the callback. I also texted my friend Meg, who is a pharmacist. She said to give him ½ to 1 tsp (and said other stuff about milligrams and per pound that I didn't get). I then bbm’ed, my mom friend, Amy, who said 1 to 2 tsp—but cautioned, she only gives 2 tsp when her daughter is unfortunately having a reaction to nuts. So, I sat on the couch feeling anxious, hoping the doctor would call.

Within twenty minutes the phone rang. I went into my unnecessary dra-ma…

“I feel really embarrassed to have called you so late on a Saturday night, but JD is really congested and I’m confident, it’s springtime allergies, since he doesn't have a fever and isn’t complaining about his ears or throat. I’ve never given him allergy meds before in his life and there is no dosage info for his age on the children’s Benadryl I have at the house. I’m sorry to bother you,” I said to the doctor. “I don’t know what to do.”

“I am so glad you called,” the doctor said. “More parents should! Especially with allergy meds.”

I reminded the doctor, JD was 3.5 and about 32 pounds. She told me based on his weight, age and symptoms to give him just ½ tsp. I am so glad I called, since I imagined he’d get 1 ½ just like Tylenol and Mortin. My kiddo hates medicine so I reminded the doctor of this fun fact. She told me to sneak it into a small amount of apple or fruit juice. I did. JD drank it up. I propped him up on an extra pillow to help with the congestion and read to him. He passed out two pages into book 3. Now, since it was his first time taking allergy meds, my anxiety didn’t go away and I repeatedly checked on him throughout the night. He was fine. I am fine. Now.

Do your kids have seasonal allergies? Have you ever called the pediatrician to ask about dosing info?

Full disclosure: I do not, in any way endorse Benadryl, Tylenol or Mortrin for compensation or free products. Please consult your own Pediatrician regarding medication and dosage information. This blog was written to share a personal experience I had with my son this past weekend.

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