Thursday, January 29, 2009
Disclaimer before you read further: Kate is absolutely fine and healthy...
Last night while I was cooking dinner, I gave Kate a kiss on her cheek and realized her earrings were missing - both earring posts, both earring backs. We pierced them last summer because she'd been asking about having them done for a while and we decided to use the piercing as a reward for her good potty training performance. We've lost a back to an earring once - and we nearly lost the front to one while at a Christmas party - but those were both just inevitable accidents. With all four pieces of the earrings missing, we knew this was undoubtedly something intentional.
I turned our house upside down looking for where she might have stashed the earrings. She told me all sorts of things ranging from them being in her tummy to she shot them through the basketball goal outside (even though she hasn't been outside in days because of the cold, wet weather) - three year olds are definitely not reliable when it comes to this sort of thing. Since Kate has a rich history of putting things in her mouth and I couldn't find the earrings after an extensive search, I started leaning towards the possibility she may have swallowed them.
So here's what I learned last night... it makes me feel quite ignorant to admit I didn't know these things before last night, but in case it might save someone reading this blog time, money, stress, and safety, I thought it was post worthy:
1. They sell earrings that have backs that screw on which are very difficult to take off - these earrings cost more because they are "real", but purchasing them is cheaper than taking your child to the urgent care clinic because they may have swallowed a less expensive pair.
2. Pediatricians do not recommend that small children have anything but screw back earrings in their ears at all times because every child is unpredictable.
3. If your child can swallow a drink of water and eat a bite of bread without difficulty after a suspected accidental object swallowing, there is no immediate danger (if they cannot, you need to call 911).
4. If you suspect your child swallowed anything sharp: nail, straight pin, tack, earring post that she got her ears pierced in with the very sharp back, etc - the pediatric on-call nurse's advice is to take them in to be seen immediately even if they can swallow just fine.
5. Cook Children's Urgent Care facility will not discuss insurance information or fees for service over the phone or in person until AFTER the child has been seen - CareNow will tell you exactly how much things will cost over the phone with your insurance and can x-ray your child to see if they swallowed something, but if any intervention is needed they cannot do it.
6. If your child did swallow an earring and they see it on an x-ray, Cook Children's doesn't recommend any immediate treatment - they will wait to see if it passes on it's own before intervening.
7. After scouring 2 malls and a few outside places, I found Sears at the NE Mall to be the most economical choice in our area to purchase quality screw back earrings. Wal-mart has some very cheap ones to offer ($10), but if you pull with reasonable force you can easily pull the backs off them without unscrewing anything. The major jewelry stores have them priced as much as $500 down to as little as $50 (the cheaper $50 options were at JC Penneys in NE Mall and at the Zales Outlet in Grapevine Mills). But Sears got my money this afternoon for some 14 ct. gold ball screw back earrings for $25. So if you need to get some screw back earrings for a toddler in your life, I recommend looking at their selection.
Kate is doing quite well, I'm a much smarter momma today than I was yesterday when it comes to earring safety and swallowed item protocol, we're still hunting her earrings, and as you can see from the pic above, she's enjoying her new gold screw back earrings!
Posted by AmyB at 4:19 PM