The plunger and the puller

Selection of medicine measuring devicesThis week we have dealt with colds. All of the juniors have suffered through a rather vicious bug complete with endless high fevers. I've learned a few things.

If you have been a parent for more than about, I don't know, 3 weeks, you will no doubt have a gargantuan collection of do-dads supposedly designed for accurately measuring medicine and inserting it into an unwell child. Finding a matching pair (plunger and sheath) is akin to finding the proverbial tupperware lid. On the rare occasion you find a pair, it is unlikely that they will fit in the hole in the top of the bottle you've just opened.

Given enough force, an almost-correct sized measuring device can be used to draw in medicine. Too much force, however, will cause the measuring device to plunge to the bottom of the bottle. It will stay there. Herculean strength will remove the device and also the cap that preventing the measuring device from getting all the way into the bottle in the first place. The cap will be stuck steadfastly around the measuring device.

At this point you have two choices: ditch the device and use a measuring cup to measure the medicine, or ask the unwell child to open wider.

Opening a new bottle of medicine is the only time you are guaranteed of having all bits of equipment needed to get the medicine out of the bottle and into the child: they put the correct device in the box with the new bottle. However, a brand new measuring device in a brand new bottle creates a curious vacuum. Drawing up the medicine into the plunger and letting go causes the medicine to squeeze back into the bottle of its own volition. Putting your foot up on the kitchen bench may help generate the force required to administer assistance to your poorly charge.

Now that the temps are down I'm off to clean the footprints off the bench.