17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

"911: What's your emergency?"

I had my first "emergency" yesterday. Luckily, it wasn't anything major - but I still called 911.
My son's binky somehow made it under his crib so far during the night that I had to get a broom to retrieve it. I had just bought two more for him so I decided to boil all three together to sanitize them. Carefully reading the instructions that said "boil 3-5 minutes" I did just that. There was so much I could get done in 3-5 minutes! I decided on changing my sons diaper.

Next thing I know we are in my bedroom playing. He was laughing so hard (his newest trick) then we read a few books, did some tummy time, then layed down for a nap. As soon as he was asleep I decided to check my email, read the blog, etc. I then started to get hungry for breakfast. I made my way to my kitchen and WHOA! My entire house (except my bedroom) was filled with smoke and the most potent, horrible smell that has ever hit my nose. I FORGOT about the pacifiers! I immediately turned off the stove, ran the smoking, stinky pan outside to the street, opened ALL of my windows and doors and closed the bedroom door to where my son was sleeping. My throat started to burn and it was getting hard for me to breathe. I checked on my son and he seemed to be doing fine, but I wanted someone to tell me it was going to be ok. I said a quick prayer and decided to call the fire dept. Oops - don't have their number handy (something I now have on the side of my fridge) so I dialed 911. At first I was embarrassed when the operator asked what my emergency was. I told her I didn't think it was a real emergency, but asked if she could get in touch with the fire department to ask if I should get my son out of the house.
She put me on hold for 5 seconds, came back on the line and said to get my baby and myself out of the house and that the fire truck was on its way up. So I scooped up my sleeping angel, ran outside and waited for the firemen.
They came driving up so soon - great response time;) They checked the house, checked my sons oxygen levels and the doc listened to his lungs. He was fine, I was fine and our house was fine. Here's what I learned (other than how scatterbrained and forgetful I am):

-Have all the emergency numbers posted somewhere (fire department, police department, poison control, etc)

-Stay calm - it's much easier to do what needs to be done if you aren't freaking out running all over the place (I know, easy to do with a burning binky, not so easy with a more serious situation)

-Learn what steps need to be taken in different kinds of emergencies. The firemen told me I did exactly what I should have done. Really? I felt so proud.

-Learn infant/child CPR. My husband and I just took a class last month. I learned a lot and am so glad I have that knowledge. (If I was Carrie I would have links to where you can take these classes, etc - but I'm just not that advanced...sorry)

-Rely on your Heavenly Father. There is nothing like prayer to calm you down and clear your head so that you can focus on what needs to be done.

-Finally, get some confidence. Before this happened, I would have put myself in the "freak out, start crying because I'm so stupid to leave the binkies on the stove, what kind of mother am I, meltdown" category. But I gained a lot of confidence in myself, after I handled this minor situation so well (pat on the back). And I think that in the future if something major does happen, I can deal with it with confidence. Hope I never have to find out...

Have any of you ever dealt well with any emergencies? What tips do you have? I would like to be as informed as possible.


  • If your small toddler falls off a chair and, within minutes, develops an ENORMOUS (I mean: 1.5 inches sticking out) bump on his head, do not take him to the ER. You will wait in a small room for five hours while people cough on you only to have a doc tell you that "it's not even a hematoma--there won't even be a mark tomorrow!'

    Ask me how i know this.

    Moral: toddlers falling on skulls create instant, enormous, horrifying bruises that really will be gone the next day. Do not overreact. Unless there is loss of consciousness, lethergy, etc., don't go to the ER. Just call your ped.
    posted by Blogger Julie M. Smith at 8/09/2006 10:42:00 AM  

  • Julie - sounds like the perfect time for arnica. It is so scary to see such a huge goose egg on their little noggin!

    Sounds like you did great under pressure. I love that the emergency was burned binkies. I'm not sure I ever sterilized binkies for my babies. Maybe with my first but for sure not my second. Whoops?!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 8/09/2006 10:54:00 AM  

  • I got to call 911 once, it was sorta funny. I was working as a receptionist in a stock brogerage office. Because the markets open at 9 in New York, we had to be there at 6 in Arizona. The broker who's turn it was to be there early happened to be the new guy. It was just he and I in the office, and he comes out to my desk looking kinda pale. He asked if I had something he could eat because he didn't feel very good. I gave him my granola bar. A few minutes later I look in his office and he's laying on the ground. I asked him if he was okay and he said "I'm fine. I'm just laying down for a little bit." A little bit later he asks me from the floor of his office if I would call 911 for him. The ambulance came and carried him out on a stretcher.

    I felt bad that I didn't think to call his wife, but then I realized that he should have asked me to do that if he wanted it done. Anyhow, I can still see him lying on the floor insisting that he was just fine and it makes me giggle.
    posted by Blogger Starfoxy at 8/09/2006 11:10:00 AM  

  • If you ever start your own blog, you know the name for it: Burnt Binkies.

    And I can honestly say I haven't boiled a thing for my children, no binkies, not nipples, not water. And they seem fine.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/09/2006 11:24:00 AM  

  • Melissa - what a crazy story! The weird thing is the same thing (almost) happened to me - minus the call to 911 b/c I caught it before it was too late. I boiled a ton of stuff for DS last week because he has had thrush (forever!!! - and I hate it, but that's another post in itself). I boiled pacifiers, bottles, toys, my plastic pump, etc. and went to watch TV with DH. Over an hour later I realized that I had forgotten about the pot on the stove. All the water had evaporated except for about an inch, so nothing melted or burned thank goodness. Anyway, I'm just telling you this so you know you are not alone in your "absentmindedness".

    Glad you & DS are okay, and you're right, it's definitely good to have all those numbers around and know CPR.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 8/09/2006 12:59:00 PM  

  • PS - can you just sterilize things by putting them in the dishwasher. Ours is kinda crappy so that's why I tried the boiling - plus I will do and try ANYTHING to get rid of thrush, but I think you can just throw the binky in the dishwasher????????
    posted by Blogger Beth at 8/09/2006 01:01:00 PM  

  • You've inspired me to finally come out of the closet with my own 9-1-1 story. I've been too scared to post it.

    Good advice, by the way.
    posted by Blogger The Daring One at 8/09/2006 01:09:00 PM  

  • beth-this is how I got rid of thrush: I stopped nursing. sad but true. She was about 7 months
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/09/2006 01:34:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 8/09/2006 01:56:00 PM  

  • Kage - Yeah, I've pretty much given up and I've tried EVERYTHING! I guess thrush is just my evil enemy until I'm done nursing.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 8/09/2006 02:00:00 PM  

  • Oh Meliss, I am so very proud of you for handling this so well. I get such a kick out of all your crazy stories. I, like Kage, have never boiled a dang thing and my kids somehow survive. It's probably best that I avoid that because with 2 kids and many fewer brain cells, I would burn down the house if I did. I think if you wash it in the dishwasher or rinse it somehow with something wet that's gotta count. With kid #2 you'll eventually just lick it off and call it good.

    I haven't had to make the ol' 911 call yet. We did just have a hugely informative lesson on emergency preparedness on Sun and I learned that I need to purchase a fire extinguisher (which I did yesterday) and a gun. Yes, you read correctly. A gun. Some guy in our class is from New Orleans, his family still resides there and did so during the hurricane. They had done all of the right things by way of preparation but the one thing they treasured most was their gun. Many unprepared people approached them, also armed, and tried to steal their food. They claim to have only survived because they too were armed. Who would have thought? A gun probably wouldn't have helped much with the binky situation, but it's just a thought on preparation.
    posted by Blogger Krista at 8/09/2006 02:25:00 PM  

  • So...jokes on me. Please tell me you all wash your newborns clothes before they wear them for the first time. Or am I just falling for all sorts of ill advice?

    I did go buy a new binky on the way to his 4m well check. I figured he would need it for post shots. I did take that binky out of the packaging and run it under hot water for 30 seconds then gave it straight to Junior. I guess I'm learning.
    OK - having a gun in the home? Interesting. Thats a whole new post...take it away Krista!
    The daring one - where is your story?
    Beth - has your doc prescribed med for you and baby? My son had it for 3 days and the meds took it right away.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 8/09/2006 02:37:00 PM  

  • Melissa - yeah, we've tried it all: Nystatin, Gentian Violet, Acidophyllis for me (and the baby kind for him). We just have a very stubborn strand. I've cleaned EVERYTHING and try to make sure things don't cross contaminate, but that's hard with a 5 month old who puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. Oh well.... I guess there's some other crazy medicine that my pediatrician mentioned, but he only wants to put DS on it if his mouth hurts or he has a hard time eating, which he doesn't right now. He only has a white mark in his mouth (which he doesn't seem to be bothered by). Seriously, we've been dealing with this since he was a month old. UGH! Oh well - too much information, and this isn't supposed to be a post on thrush! Sorry.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 8/09/2006 03:11:00 PM  

  • Another good number to know is Poison Control, especially with a toddler. Learned the hard way when DD ate some lotion and then threw up. Had to spend time on the web looking for CA Poison Control number, worried to death about my DD.

    Melissa, I did wash all my newborn clothes before wearing but that ending at about 6 months. Never did boil anything. Sterilized in the microwave once but decided it was too much work and not worth all the trouble.
    posted by Blogger Elise at 8/09/2006 05:55:00 PM  

  • Poison control, genius! I realized it after Thing 1 was 6 months old and managed to drink a half a bottle of Benadryl (long story)and I had to scramble for my phone book, crying. He was fine. That's also the time I learned that Benadryl makes my son hyper instead of sleepy.
    I never boiled anything for my sons either,and they're fine, except for that twitch...;)
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 8/09/2006 11:39:00 PM  

  • Melissa....Yikes! I'm glad that you and DS came out of it fine.

    It is no small miracle that I've never dialed 911 considering how absentminded and completely clueless I can be. Knock on wood!

    I almost called once when we were in NYC and I saw someone looking into my window from our fire escape (we lived on the 3rd floor), but it turned out to be a cop chasing some other dude. With a baby in the house and DH working late, it was very frightening for a moment.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 8/10/2006 05:53:00 AM  

  • I had a close call a couple months after we moved here. DS cut his head and needed stitches. I was SO LUCKY my friend and her husband (next door) were home. I had no idea where the hospital was, nor did I really have my wits about me. I couldn't think of where big paper was to leave DH a note and I couldn't think of where to put it to be sure he'd see it. (Like it would have been that hard!) I ended up calling him from friend's cell and leaving a message--"don't worry honey, the blood is from ds, but he's ok, etc." Yikes! Anyway, it was dramatic until the crying calmed down. Friend took dd who was covered in pudding and friend's husband drove ds and I to the hospital. Lots of screaming and 4 stitches later, all was calm. Ug!!

    My lesson--know where your hospitals are!! And which ones you do and don't go (if you're in nyc) to depending on how bad your emergency is. Also, know who to call to help with the other kids--maybe keep a list (with your other emergency numbers) in case your brain is blank with the emergency at hand.

    It's just crazy. I hope to not have to do that again! (good luck, right?)
    posted by Blogger Katie at 8/10/2006 02:41:00 PM  

  • LOL - you remind me of my L.A. apartment days, with two tiny ones (the tiny ones are now big boys, old enough to drive).

    One night for family home evening, my husband felt that the lesson should be on "how to use a fire extinguisher." An odd lesson, it seemed at the time, to teach me and Son1 (age 2 1/2) and Son2 (age 8 mo). But we all learned where the fire extinguisher was, how to pull the pin, and how to point and shoot. He built a tiny fire in the hibachi, so we could practice.

    Next day, Son2 finished breakfast, and before taking him to bath I set the (plastic) high-chair tray on the counter, where it hung partly over the gas stove. While in the bathroom, Son1 wanted a drink, so he climbed up on the kitchen counter to get a cup from the cupboard. In passing, his foot apparently twisted the range knob (some numbskull designed it with knobs in front). Pretty soon, he's hollering from the kitchen, in that ultimate panic voice you probably can well imagine - "Fire!"

    With son2 in one arm I swoop for the fire extinguisher, pull the pin, and shoot: "Poof!" All gone.

    Flip the switch. Check Son1. All is well. (That is, after I calmed down... it did take a while to clean up the mess, though).
    posted by Blogger Coffinberry at 8/10/2006 06:35:00 PM  

  • Wow coffinberry - sounds like that FHE was inspired :)
    Jen - I would FREAK out if I saw a man looking into my window. Even if it was a cop - creepy!
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 8/11/2006 10:44:00 AM  

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