For Parents Whose Blood Pressure Gets Raised Because of Product Recalls When ’Tussin and Wine Ain’t Enough

Illustration for article titled For Parents Whose Blood Pressure Gets Raised Because of Product Recalls When ’Tussin and Wine Ain’t Enough
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I was driving my daughter to school this morning, gleefully coasting across the Washington, D.C., area’s Woodrow Wilson Bridge, named after possibly the most racist president of all time, a true accomplishment considering that several presidents actually owned slaves, when my phone buzzed. Like many folks, I get an alarming (no pun intended) number of non-text or social media message notifications over the course of the day alerting me to various bits of information. Typically, I ignore them; if they’re important enough I’m sure I’ll read about them during my daily perusal of the news. But every now and then, one pops up and gets my pressure high, and usually it’s child related.


Such was the case this morning when an alert from WUSA9 popped up with the following statement: “Infant liquid ibuprofen sold at Walmart, CVS and Family Dollar recalled.”

Say what? Say who? I have kids. And if you have children who ever get a fever, well it is highly likely that your pediatrician, WebMD and anybody who also has kids has told you to cop you both Tylenol and Motrin (which is ibuprofen) and alternate dosages of the two on a time schedule to bring the fever down. Hell, I had to do this twice in the past month (and as recently as early this week) because both of my boys (aged 3 and 2) had caught some kind of viral bug that turned them into flaming fireballs for two- to three-day clips. One of my son’s fevers got so high that I took him to urgent care. And they told me to use the same health cocktail that we’d already been employing: Pedialyte, alternating children’s Motrin and Tylenol and cold compresses.

But that alert, doe. I hit that alert because while I have never purchased medicine from Family Dollar (full disclosure: I had no idea they even sold medicine at Family Dollar), I have absolutely purchased infant and children’s Motrin from CVS. Walmarts in D.C. tend to be absolute zoos so I stay out of there, but c’mon, everybody rolls up into CVS. I was immediately on high alert.

I read the article and it was for three specific brands: CVS Health, Family Wellness and Equate, none of which I use. Also nevermind that my children don’t even use infant ibuprofen at this point, having graduated to children’s versions of the products. Still, I got concerned because, again, my sons just got off their steady diet of Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

And I know I’m not alone. I can’t imagine how many parents got either that alert or some other news outlet’s version of that alert and immediately thought about what was in their children’s medicine arsenal and when was the last time those items were used. Talk about an Extinction Level Event. I was driving and almost called my wife to tell her to throw everything away even though, again, it doesn’t affect us.

See, for parents, recalls like that are the equivalent of the romaine lettuce recall and recent meat recalls, except multiplied by infinity because adults can just stop eating those things. With kids, though, the recalls tend to be on staple, necessary items.


It seems like every year there are specific recalls for cribs (seriously, look at that list), car seats (seriously, look at that list), certain toys (seriously, look at that list) that might kill your child. And that’s why they become so alarming. Every single recall for kids ends up being something that, if one small thing goes wrong, the child’s life is in total peril and they can’t do anything about it because they are children. It is on us as parents to keep our children alive, which I honestly think is the entire job description of being a parent until our kids are like six, at which point the job description morphs into to keep them alive and force them to be good humans.

So can you imagine driving along with your kid in a child seat and an alert pops up that tells you that the very child seat your kid is riding in at that very moment has been recalled?? Or the crib that your child is sleeping in is being recalled because of some minor issue that’s managed to cause the crib to fall apart, or worse, the construction design has ended up in even one suffocated child??? Parenting is stressful enough without worrying about the very things we purchase to get us from day to day is going to kill our kids.


The easy money solution is to assume that everything is dangerous and to continue to be hyper-vigilant (I assume most parents of small kids, especially, already are) when it comes to any and all things related to your children. But still, recall notices of the things we use to help our babies are frightening no matter how you operate as a parent. There’s a reason so many moms seem to thrive on wine (and dads on bourbon). Parenting will send you off the deep end at times.

To any other parents who experienced some version of heart palpitations or had to pull over to check to see if its possible that you might have some of the products, I get it. Because who wants to possibly subject your kids to this?

There is a remote possibility that infants, who may be more susceptible to a higher potency level of drug, and therefore may be more vulnerable to permanent NSAID-associated renal injury. Adverse effects that may be experienced are nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, or more rarely, diarrhea. Tinnitus, headache and gastrointestinal bleeding are also possible adverse effects. To date, Tris Pharma, Inc. has not received any reports of adverse events related to the lots of product that are the subject of this recall.


Where’s my ’Tussin ... and bourbon?

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.



Panama, as an ex-Washingtownian (and I love the local color in your writing), is People’s Pharmacy still in business? Because back in the 70s they had one on every other street corner and every third ad on TV was theirs. People’s was so all-enveloping they could MOVE THE WAPO PAPERBACK BEST SELLER LIST.