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I Didn't Check My Kid's Prescription at the Pharmacy and It Was a Big Mistake

Photograph by Twenty20

I recently had my child’s prescription filled at a local pharmacy—and didn't realize it was totally wrong until after he had taken a dose.

It was a busy day with errands to run, and I could hardly hear the pharmacy tech at the drive-thru window with my toddler screaming in the car. I didn't even think to check the name of the prescription. Plus, I’m pretty clueless when it comes to drug names, anyway. I just made sure it had my son’s name on it and drove away.

When we got home I tore into the package, opened the bottle, pulled one of the tablets out and gave it to my son. I know … gulp! ROOKIE MISTAKE!

Luckily, I looked at the label again thinking, "That doesn’t sound right." I thought it might have been a generic brand I haven't heard of yet, but my gut was telling me to Google.

Aren’t we worried enough as moms and caregivers about keeping our kids safe?

Turns out, the pharmacy had given us Omeprazole by mistake, which is used for things like heartburn, acid reflux and stomach ulcers. What? This was NOT what the doctor had ordered. I called the doctor immediately to let her know what my son had taken. She was on the phone with the pharmacy right away to figure out what happened. She also assured me it wasn’t anything to worry about.

But wasn't it?

Shouldn’t we be able to let some things fall into the hands of the professionals without worrying? Aren’t we worried enough as moms and caregivers about keeping our kids safe? What scared me the most was that the mistake happened at all.

But before I could fall down that rabbit hole of shame, before the Mom Monster inside of me could make me feel guilty for not checking and list off all the things I did wrong, I quickly shifted focus to the things that went right.

For one, luckily, it wasn’t a harmful drug. It wasn’t a narcotic or something crazy that would make him sick. He had only taken one dose and it was small. (Thank heavens that I questioned it before going through the whole bottle. Taking an entire bottle of something you don’t need isn't good, no matter what it is.) The pharmacy also corrected the mistake right away. They didn’t try to shift blame to the doctor. It really was an honest mistake.

You think you can trust those around you to do their jobs perfectly, but when it comes to our kids, we simply can’t be careful enough. Even the professionals around us are human and mistakes can happen. But this is one I’ll be sure only happens once!

I definitely learned my lesson and hope this will be a reminder for every parent and caretaker out there. Double-check your prescriptions. Triple-check. This could have gone so much worse.

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