Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tylenol= Bad Stuff

As I've mentioned 100 times already... last week was horrible. Everett started getting sick Sunday morning and had a fever of 101.6, then I was so sick that I couldn't move by Wednesday, and Jake was sick Thursday-Tuesday. Everett is still trying to get better. 

I finally took Everett to the Dr. on Wednesday and we discovered that he had the flu and had minor bronchitis. He's still coughing a whole bunch and has a supper runny nose. 

I really love Everett's pediatrician. I trust him. He's an honest and God-fearing man. 

He was Jake's pediatrician too. He's been around for a long time and he's made sure that a lot of babies and kids stay healthy. Which is why last week was so hard. 

He's always told me how terrible Tylenol (and any other 'drug') is for infants/children. It seems like every time we are in the office he reminds me about it and shares the latest statistic with me. He really laid it into me at our appointment after Everett drank 1/2 the bottle of Tylenol. 

So last week I tried not to give him any pain reliever. I lasted a few days. By the third day I couldn't take it anymore... and if Everett felt anything like I did, he was feeling pretty crappy. So I gave him some Tylenol. I could just hear Everett's Dr.'s disappointment with a friendly reminder that 'research shows that after just 2 doses, they can start see liver damage in babies...' 

He's passionate about keeping babies healthy... and Tylenol free. 

Then, at our most recent visit, the Dr. held his stethoscope to Everett's chest and pressed on it a few times. Everett started to cough like he had been. Then he asked me if Everett had ever coughed like this before or if I ever noticed him wheezing. (no, no) He made sure to remind me that 'kids who take Tylenol on average of once a month are 6 times more likely to develop asthma'. (These statistics are all from memory... so they might not be 100% accurate.) 

It's pretty bad stuff... which is why I thought about sharing this little nugget of info with you. But before I took Ev to the Dr, I had Jake pick up another bottle of pain reliever (because the bottle that we had was past expiration.) Jake talked to the pharmacist at the store and the pharmacist told Jake the same thing that our pediatrician had been telling me... it's bad stuff and that kids under two REALLY, REALLY shouldn't be taking it. 

But I felt like not giving Ev some pain reliever was worse than the damage it was doing to his body. He was so miserable and pretty much just cried all day long. I figured he must have a gnarly ear infection because he was pulling and itching his ears all week. I decided that I better give him some relief. I got this close to opening the new bottle... but he finally stopped crying right before I could punch the hole through the foil top. 

While he was finally being quite and content eating his banana-flax seed smoothie out of a bowl, I read the label a little closer... and sure enough (not that I didn't believe him before):

(under age 2 ask a doctor... mine says NO!)

(may cause liver damage)

It's really hard not to give your child pain reliever when they are so sick and you can't handle it anymore... but it really is bad for them. For now, it's up to me to help keep Everett healthy, and if that means no pain reliever... then I guess I will just have to suffer right there with him. 

And it turns out that his ears are as healthy as can be.

*Update. I guess I need to clarify a few things. Everett was sick and so was I... which meant that I didn't have any energy to play with him and so we were both stuck at home and bored... so he cried. When I did muster up enough energy to take him on a stroller or bike ride he cheered right up. Which means to me that he was just cranky and not suffering of enormous amounts of pain. If I felt that he was MAJORLY uncomfortable I would have taken him to the Dr. sooner. But he was just sick... not dying of pain. I agree that babies should be 'comfortable' but sickness is a normal thing that happens to everyone and therefore we can't always make our babies comfortable (especially when some of the medications have negative effects on the body).

1 comment:

  1. Our infant advil says to ask a doctor under 6 months, but has doses up until age 2. Advil is different from Tylenol though since it's ibuprofen. Luckily our doctor supports keeping babies comfortable and knows they aren't dropping dead left and right. She does a lot of research, thank god, because I didn't have to take those crappy DHA pre natal pills and it saved me from gagging since they are half the size. Anyway, ibuprofen has a higher margin to cause issues (and it is mainly stomach issues) and would take several doses to do that, and you can use it for longer periods of time than Tylenol. Tylenol is a lot more toxic to the liver if you look it up. I'm quite surprised your doctor didn't give alternatives, even herbal suggestions. My doctors (including the ones for surgery) always stressed the importance of keeping babies comfortable.