November 12, 2012

How to Take a Single Serving of Medicine in the Diaper Bag

Today Paul is taking the twins out for most of the day, and I needed to send a dose of medicine with Elizabeth for an annoying cough. I didn't want to send the whole bottle, because that's messy and heavy and I am not 100% ready to give dosing responsibility to Paul, who always jokes things like "I'll just give her a swig, is that okay?," and also because it's happened before that I've sent off a bottle of medicine and then I need it at home, or it gets left in Paul's car and he drives off to work with it the next day, or whatever. Hassle.

Anyway, here's what I do: I measure a dose into one of those little sample-size liquor bottles. Yes, I suppose it DOES look a little odd to be pouring a child a shot (though I feel like most parents would nod understandingly and wonder only why I wasn't pouring another for myself), but I generally administer it in the privacy of the bathroom, or in the car, or from behind a large fast-food soda cup. Plus, I bring a dosage cup so that the child is not actually seen drinking DIRECTLY FROM a liquor bottle.


First I measure out a dose of the medicine I want to bring with me. Then I pour it into a little liquor bottle.

Usually I peel the label off the bottle to make it look less seedy, but this particular label was leaving a ton of sticky residue and I didn't have time to mess with that so I just left the label on. I have a tiny little funnel that makes it easier to get the medicine into the bottle, but I've also just carefully poured it.



Then I rinse out the little dosage cup, put the cap on the little liquor bottle, and label a baggie with what's in there. I also put down when to give it: I've been surprised at how easily I can forget what time I gave the last dose. Sometimes I'll add a note about exactly how much medicine it is ("two teaspoons" or whatever), if I plan to have the medicine along for an extended amount of time---if, for example, I were making an emergency single-serving of Benadryl to keep with me.

The baggie is for easy labeling and also for in case of leaks, but it's also because AFTER the dose of medicine is given, the dosage cup will be sticky and I might not have an opportunity to rinse it.



I put the bottle and the dosage cup into the baggie, and the baggie into the diaper bag.

I HAVE worried about various open-container laws. But it seems like the odds of me being pulled over on a particular trip, AND of the officer deciding to search the diaper bag, AND of the officer not believing me (or believing his/her eyes or nose) that it's cough medicine or Benadryl in the bottle, AND of the officer thinking that what he/she has mistaken for 2 teaspoonfuls of liquor (1/3rd of an ounce) is worth making a fuss over---even if ALL those things went wrong, a test of the substance would vindicate me. I imagine myself in court saying to the judge, "You see, your honor? I was telling the truth ALL ALONG." Music swells, courtroom cheers, officer looks mortified and starts stammering, judge apologizes fervently that the state has so flagrantly wasted the time of an innocent citizen, etc.

19 comments:

Misty said...

This is pretty clever. For us allergy junkies, they sell little plastic-y single servings of Benadryl. But this is obviously more eco-friendly.

HereWeGoAJen said...

This is kind of genius. Plus, now I have to go out and drink a bunch of tiny liquors.

Shannon said...

What a great idea! Another idea for a small bottle might be reusing a small vanilla (or other) extract bottle. Maybe you'd feel less worried about carrying the medicine in that. I can certainly imagine feeling slightly stressed out about people seeing my child drinking out of a liquor bottle even though the circumstances are totally innocent. (The same way I have always been nervous about getting caught with a syringe in a washroom even though I am diabetic and have legitimate reasons for using a syringe. I knew someone who was cornered for that reason and then had the cops called on her!)

Yo-yo Mama said...

We reuse the single serving milk bottles that they use at fastfood restaurants. They are plastic and have screw caps and labels remove easily.

Swistle said...

Yo-yo Mama- Little apple juice bottles work for that, too. But they're so HUGE compared to the amount of medicine I want to bring.

Nicole said...

GENIUS!!!!

shin ae said...

This is very helpful, as always. Thank you!

Karen said...

Great idea! I also love the commenter's suggestion of using vanilla extract bottles instead! Genius ladies!

Shelly said...

So, I shouldn't tell you that my parents actually did give me "just a swig" of cough medicine when I was a kid? It was when we were on trips, and didn't have a spoon/ dosing cup, and I was old enough to just take a mouthful and stop. But yeah, we totally did that.

Sarah said...

What a good idea, I don't fully trust my husband with dosing either (control issues, much?). Funny story, when my son was about 2 we traveled just after he was getting over an ear infection, but was still on antibiotics. When I gave him the first dose at home I couldn't find a dosing cup, so I used a syringe to measure it into a shot glass - which had a chicken on it - my son became very attached to the shot glass and would only take the medicine out of that glass. That is how I ended up at my in-laws giving a shot glass of medicine to my kid every 6 hours. They did not approve. :)

Brenna said...

Brilliant idea. And also? Fourth Amendment rule number one: NEVER consent to searches. If they have to ask, they don't have probable cause. And you refusing a search doesn't give them probable cause. Don't give away your rights just because you have nothing to hide. (Can you tell this is kind of a hot-button issue for me??)

Gigi said...

That is freakin' genius at work right there! Where were you when mine was small?

Guinevere said...

My son is on twice-daily medication for a very weird condition, and when we left the hospital from the visit where he was put on said medication, our super awesome favorite nurse packed us with a boatload of syringes and also super-great CAPS for the syringes that click into place so you can just throw the loaded syringe into a diaper bag without worrying that it'll be accidentally triggered. This was because we were in the hospital on vacation and he wanted to make sure that we could get home with our meds. We thought it was overkill but it ended up being the best gift ever.

It's been nearly a year and we are STILL using those syringes with the click-on caps (rinsing and reusing)! His dosage is less than 1 ml, so there's no way we could even use a wee booze bottle to transport - we'd just lose too much on the container.

So, what I want to know is, why don't children's dosing syringes for larger tsp-tbsp volumes that you can buy at the drugstore ALSO come with those cool handy dandy click-on caps? Or do they? I'll keep a lookout. If not, someone could make a killing marketing this for commercial consumers, since it really works well and is SO AWESOME. Like you, we stick it in a ziplock lest there be leakage but that's never happened - mostly to avoid losing the wee syringe.

Bibliomama said...

Remember when we were little and our parents thought a teaspoon meant 'take a teaspoon out of the drawer and pour, uh, some medicine in it'? I never saw medicine measured in my life until I had kids. This is SO clever.

Emily said...

Genius! I want to be Swistle when I grow up.

Anonymous said...

I have a little bottle at home that is designed for salad dressing. I bet it would work perfectly for this. And it has a little squirt top for squirting right into the mouth. :) Mine is kind of like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Evriholder-D2G-Dressing-Blue-Green/dp/B0076PNQNU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1352839903&sr=8-3&keywords=salad+dressing+container

d e v a n said...

haha! I have had a very similar scenario in my head when we traveled (moving) with cat nip in a tupperware. I wrote CAT NIP in huge letters on it, but I was sure I would get pulled over and the police would think it was something else entirely.

Erica said...

I'm going to try this just because I'm so moved by the dramatic courtroom vindication scene.

Sara said...

I do the same thing...instead though I use the little shampoo/conditioner/lotion bottles given to you when you stay at a hotel. Wash it out. and go for it. Never had a problem with spillage and works great for sitters/grandparents and the like that need to dose your kid while your gone.