The day camp gave difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    the wrong medicine today:wildone: We went to pick him up and the guy said he still needed to give difficult child his 4:00 medicine. He pulled out a bottle I didn't recognize and neither did husband. We asked difficult child if we could see the pill the guy just gave him. It wasn't one of his. The guy said he gave one to difficult child at lunch today!! It was some other child's medication!

    We wrote down the name of it and I called the pharmacy. The pharmacist said it was a generic form of Ritalin! Uh-stimulants and difficult child-not at all a good mix!

    While I was on the phone with the pharmacist difficult child got in the car talking very loudly to difficult child. I asked him to be quiet so that I could hear. He started swearing at me and then smacked me in the head.

    We drove home and once home I can't remember what started the whole thing but he was told he would have to lose some Wii time (1/2 hour when he got back from therapist). He started coming after me and husband was able to restrain him but he was kicking husband and swearing at us. At one point I had to lock myself in the bathroom. He was out of control. When I told him I was calling the therapist he threw the phone to try and break it-the battery came out but he fixed it.

    Next I went upstairs to call the therapist. I locked my door and he put a hole in it trying to get in!

    This is why we don't give difficult child stimulants for his ADHD. He just can't stay in control. I'm not excusing difficult child's behavior but I'm very upset about him being given the wrong medicine.:mad: I really don't think things would have elevated to the level they did had he not had the wrong medications.

    He eventually used some deep breathing and calmed down enough to go to the therapist. He is much more relaxed now but what a long 30 minutes or so!

    I feel bad the counselor seems nice but therapist thinks and I agree that it needs to be brought up to make sure it doesn't happen again to difficult child or someone else!
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    OMG, Sharon - in my humble opinion, without question this needs to be brought up very very assertively with camp staff!!! The camp should have a policy where medications are checked by 2 people before they're given out if there's not an RN giving them.

    I wonder how the other family fared this evening. Goodness.

    Glad difficult child calmed down - what a scare. I guess it's a blessing you know what provoked it but... sheesh, definitely not a good situation.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    This is a parent's worst nightmare! So sorry it happened to you and difficult child. I urge you to talk to the camp director about it first thing tomorrow morning.

    FWIW, I wouldn't worry about consequences in this situation. difficult child's behavior was clearly beyond his control.

    Hope things improve soon.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sue-It really was scary! Thankfully the other child got his regular medication-don't know how they managed it but I'm so glad he didn't get one of difficult child's (which were in their bottles and in a ziplock bag)!
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    OMG!!! I'm so glad that you were able to find out so at least you knew what was going on with difficult child. I agree that it needs to be brought up- no question. And- the other parent needs to be notified if their kid got a mood stabilizer or whatever instead of ritalin.

    It is so frightening when we have to depend on others to give the medications to our difficult child's...

    HUGS to you and difficult child!!!
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I wouldn't assume that the counselor was going to report himself.

    I would call the camp director at home tonight so the family of the other child can be contacted ASAP.
  7. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    Ummm yeah like they would/could have a major law suit on their hands! if nothing less I would expect a week free!
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sw-I probably shouldn't have given a consequence-I didn't make it severe though-1/2 an hour off of Wii-but hindsight being 20/20 I shouldn't have even done that-it only set him off more at the time.
  9. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    O! M! G!

    I cannot believe it! I'm so sorry to hear about this - yeah, someone needs to be talked to!
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Sharon, it's understandable why you did what you did. Is he asleep yet? It might take allowing him to do something to get some energy out before he can relax. With my difficult child, once the cycling starts, it doesn't always get realed back in too quickly. I hope this isn't the case with yours....
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Klmno and SRL-Now that I think of it, I'm just going by the counselor's word that he gave the other child the right medications. I should probably check the bottles tomorrow morning to be sure.

    AOG-I know some probably would sue. At the time I was so shocked I didn't say much.

    I will report it tomorrow (don't have a number to call tonight).
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Klmno-He is calm now and happily playing the Wii. I wish he was sleeping though.

    BestICan-I couldn't believe it either at first!
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't think stuff like this is so uncommon. My difficult child is in juvy right now and told me that there was one particular staff person that always gave him one lithium instead of two in the mornings. difficult child said he would tell him that wasn't the right amount- the staff person said he would check and come back, but of course, never did. I reported it to the nurse, asked if she could explain the prescription to that staff person, and stressed that difficult child HAS to have the correct dosage of lithium and that if he didn't get it and he did something outrageous, the accountability shouldn't rest on his shoulders. Of course, the nurse knew what this meant- the regular staff people can't seem to understand the seriousness of things sometimes.

    I hope you can "wind him down" enough that he can get a good night's sleep. I'm just so glad you found it out quickly...
  14. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Day camp staff should automatically report this to their supervisors. However, this is serious enough to make sure that report was made. This could have been very dangerous especially if he did get that 2nd dose.

    I would call the director and ask if the staff did write a report and figure out which child got the your difficult child's medications - the parents need to be informed ASAP. They might be wondering why their difficult child is not behaving as usual (duh, didn't get the right medications.)

    Then ask what the policy is to hand out medications - I thought medications were suppose to be provided in their original bottles with patient's names on (I always ask the pharmacy for a 2nd empty labled bottle so I can give to the school). Are the kids not identified well enough? Are the staff just going by who they think the kid is or are they asking for a name? I can see a staff saying, "Oh, I thought that was Johnny." When it was really Robbie.

    How can the camp be certain the other kid got the right one? Did you get your difficult child's medications back and they were all there?

    Yes, this is VERY important. I am so glad your difficult child is still safe and I would tend to give him leeway in his behavior during those medicated hours - he probably didn't understand why he was behaving like that and maybe could not have controlled it.

    Though I probably would have reacted like you did, when my difficult child starts in, I often just see the moment and don't see what caused it. - 20/20 is a lot easier isn't it?

    Tell difficult child that next time he is given something that doesn't look like what you give him that he is allowed to be as GFGish as needed to refuse to take it until someone else goes over his medication sheet and maybe call you to verify if needed.
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    P.S. The other parent's need to be informed that your son got one of their dosages - If their child did get the right one, they are down one dose - If they track the medications very close, they will find one dose missing and may get scared that their child doubled a dose along the way. That would be confusing.
  16. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    OMG how scary. Whenever Tink (or even Copper back then) was given an Rx for ANYTHING from antibiotics to stims, I would cringe and cross my fingers that it was me and me alone that was responsible for administering it. I have always been afraid of them having to take medications under the watch of a school nurse or camp counsellor. I hope your son got through the rest of the night ok. Hugs.
  17. Christy

    Christy New Member

    So sorry that happened! Thank goodness rittalin doesn't stay in the system long. I hope things are back to normal and difficult child is feeling okay.

    I hope there is a plann put in place to ensure this does not happen again to anyone!
  18. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yikes. That's very scarey.

    Accidents happen, but I hope the camp staff comes up with a plan to make sure it doesn't happen again.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. this is so scary - a medication mixup can KILL someone.

    I think a call, followed up with a letter, to the camp director is in order. I think a couple of weeks free is quite reasonable considering they endangered your child's LIFE.

    I would be willing to bet $$$ that the other child's family was not told. Who wants to take responsibility for that??? So YOU need to talk to the camp director when you drop off difficult child. Stress that medication mixups CAN hurt the child, not just cause behavioral problems. They can cause problem behavior, but that is the least of what can happen. Imagine if your difficult child was on anti-rejection medications??? Or medications for a heart problem??

    Going in with the attitude of "how can we keep this from happening" rather than "I want to rip you limb from limb you incompetent jerk" will get a lot more done (NOT that I think you would have the 2nd attitude, but many would). Ask to speak to the person who gives out medications. Ask how they know that it is the right child (do the kids wear nametags, etc...), ask what training the medication dispensing person has, and ask how they intend to make this up to you and to your difficult child??

    Stress that they need to NOT say Oh - you are Jonny X who take medications for x disorder. Just verify child's name and name on bottle.

    But I WOULD ask for 2 weeks free for endangering your child's life or possibly sending him into serious medical problems.

    follow up whatever is said in a memo, and if you don't get what you want, send a copy to the licensing board or the corporate HQ if it is a chain.

    IF they take the attitude that it is no big deal, then maybe you will have to find the director's boss. They DO have liability insurance, but if you kick too much they may refuse to have difficult child attend.

    Again, I am so sorry. This is such a scary thing.

    One way we combat this (and have since Wiz started taking medications and with thank you since he could talk) was to make sure that each child knows what medication they take, what it looks like, and what it is for. I ahve also let each of them know if they are unsure about the medication that they can refuse to take the medication until I am called. With thank you's food allergies we made sure HE asked about what was in the foods. Jessie was such a good big sis that in 4th and 5th grades they would go ask her if he was allowed something, in spite of written lists. Bless her heart, she usually knew.

    Show difficult child the pills EACH time the medication is refilled. If it is a generic the pharmacy may get it from a different company now and then, meaning the pill may look different. HAve difficult child tell YOU what his medications are, and what they look like.

    This is, or should be, standard safety training. Just like Stop Drop and Roll.


  20. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Oh Sharon,

    been there done that with kt & wm. The pharmacist filled their prescription with klonopine instead of clonodine. We ended up going to ER to have the tweedles stomachs pumped. I was livid - the pharmacist assured me it was the right medication after I saw it was a different pill. Just didn't look right.

    The state investigated this as Children's Hospital & I both reported this incident.

    I like Susie's attitude going in - what procedure is in place so this doesn't happen again? And I'd be talking to the director of the camp to get answers.

    I hope there are no long lasting effects for difficult child.