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how do you keep an adhd child safe ? at wits end here .

(24 Posts)
droves Sun 02-Oct-11 21:07:12

ds3 <stepson> has adhd .
He is on a high dose of equsine <sp>
think its about 40 mg. . . hes 10 but had height and build of an average 7 yaer old.

At the weekend , he stayed over .
When hes here , he shares a room with his brothers ... <bunk beds >

We had 6 kids with us , in garden as it was sunny and we had bar- b- q , as a treat for them.

ds3 went into the house with ds4 , and they went up to their room to find a toy.

DH looked up and mouthed omfg ... i looked up DS3 was sitting on the window sil with the window wide open as far as it would go . DH seemed to be frozen with terror but managed to shout "get in".

I have never moved so fast in my life ... got ds3 safely in the house and made sure the window was closed.

DS3 was told off , in fact i shouted at him , partly due to terror and partly wanted to scare him not into going near the window again.

How on earth can i keep the child safe ? I feel like we have failled him, that im not a good stepmother to him as i did not prevent this. Its only sheer luck that he did not fall. i feel sick to the stomach typing this.

So far all his " mischeifs" have involved him destroying toys or hitting the other kids . Now im terrified to have him here in case something awful happens if im distracted by his little sister <asd> .

Didnt sleep last night for having nightmares , about him getting hurt.

I dont know what to do ... i thought the windows were safe ... they have safety catches that i struggle to undo .

What do i do ? I just dont know how to keep him safe .sad

Someone please help and tell me what to do ?

MangoMonster Sun 02-Oct-11 21:39:54

Sounds like a stressful and difficult situation. Didn't want to read and run, but don't have any experience of ADHD, I'm sure some others here will be able to offer practical advice. Hope you resolve it.

Triggles Sun 02-Oct-11 22:01:54

Unfortunately we have this same issue, although obviously DS2 is here fulltime. We went through a terrifying time a bit ago when he managed to learn how to open the safety gates in the house (he's 5yo), until we finally found another gate that he couldn't open - although apparently they're no longer produced, so god knows what we'll do next! All the windows in the house have locking mechanisms and are locked all the time. The upstairs windows are not unlocked and open unless DS2 is either at school or downstairs. Downstairs windows are not unlocked and opened unless DS2 is upstairs (where the windows are locked and closed again). We've gone round and round over it, and while we were looking into SS getting funding to replace our windows (which are not child friendly and have no way of putting safety mechanisms so they can be open safely), we've recently decided we'd rather leave the windows as they are, keep them locked, and purchase an air conditioning unit to use during the hottest days of summer. less intrusive, less expensive, and no further worries about DS2 getting the safety mechanisms unlocked on an open window and falling out.

Otherwise, safety hooks on doors or safety gates with alarms are standard in our house. Constant vigilance. And not nearly as much sleep as we'd like. An autolock built in to the microwave. Plugs for sinks put where he cannot find or reach them. And keys where he cannot access them. It's a bit of a minefield.

mariamagdalena Sun 02-Oct-11 22:18:12

What time of day was this? Equasym only lasts 6-8 hours. With a bit of rebound as it's wearing off. Great for school day, useless for home.

mariamagdalena Sun 02-Oct-11 22:47:47

I know he's a bit big but toddler proofing thread

If this was my ds, the contributory factors would probably have been staying away from main home, being with lots of other children, the excitement of a barbecue, possibly being a bit too hot, maybe hungry, daddy being busy cooking, only being 4 weeks into the new school year, watching stuff like bear grylls on tv....

We haven't had a BBQ at home, but I have to give him almost one to one supervision when we have one at our neighbours. We have 3 kids and so does she, and they're all well used to spending time together but he can't cope for more than 3 hours, so I usually exit early.

The up side of having two dc with sn is that what you learn with one usually helps with the other. And if she's melting down it might well be a good early warning sign that he's about to.

droves Mon 03-Oct-11 12:36:00

The children we had that day were all ds3's family. The incident was after 6 when everything was winding down.
Recently ds3's behaviour had improved a lot, and although hes still a lot of work , we finally felt we were getting the knack of managing his adhd.
Dh and i had a massive argument , i told him we are getting locks and alarms for upstairs windows now ...and Dh thinks im over reacting. He didnt tell ds3's mum what had happened either when he took him back.
Told dh i cant split myself in two to enable us to "police" ds3 .,. So if i cant make the house safe for him he cant come. sad.
Its the last thing i want , but would never forgive myself if anything happened to ds3.The children we had that day were all ds3's family. The incident was after 6 when everything was winding down.
Recently ds3's behaviour had improved a lot, and although hes still a lot of work , we finally felt we were getting the knack of managing his adhd.
Dh and i had a massive argument , i told him we are getting locks and alarms for upstairs windows now ...and Dh thinks im over reacting. He didnt tell ds3's mum what had happened either when he took him back.
Told dh i cant split myself in two to enable us to "police" ds3 .,. So if i cant make the house safe for him he cant come. sad.
Its the last thing i want , but would never forgive myself if anything happened to ds3.

droves Mon 03-Oct-11 12:42:10

Dont know what happend , posting from phone blush.
Anyway im heading 2 b&q to find window lock and alarms.

Chundle Mon 03-Oct-11 14:22:04

Hi there my dd has ADHD and she ha a fondness for siting on window ledges! I would write out a list of any potential dangers start from top of house and work your way down. Then every weekend when you have him ensure these checks on these things are done I.e locking windows, bolting gate etc etc

ouryve Mon 03-Oct-11 18:37:55

Windows and doors locked and keys not left lying around - we have doubled glazed windows which can be opened an inch or so then locked into the frame.
Kids kept supervised - at very least in earshot and visual checks made if all goes quiet or movements not as expected (usually means up to no good in DS1's case)
The kids also won't be having bunk beds any time soon, even though it'll mean they have very little floor space in their room.

Triggles Mon 03-Oct-11 18:39:50

I will point out that I think you are making a mistake by not telling his mum when you took him back. What if she is not aware of this particular behaviour? That places him in danger, as she may not know to take special precautions. Please make sure you tell her, as it is important for his safety that she is aware of it!!!

You are overreacting, and you aren't. There. How's that for mixed messages? grin

You aren't overreacting in the sense that you do need to take appropriate precautions. Initially it will seem fairly overwhelming - it's like toddlerproofing the house for a very tall toddler, that can reach things that are higher. But once you have a system in place, it's just a matter of paying attention.

You are overreacting in that you are telling your DH that he can't see his child because you are stressed over safety arrangements. That's completely unfair, IMO. You CAN sort the safety stuff, you just have to be calm and clinical and look through the house from his level. Yes, it is difficult, but it gets better as you get used to it.

looneytoons Mon 03-Oct-11 19:29:40

When my son was younger we had the same problem. We had to keep all windows and doors locked. We had to bolt all his furniture in his room to the wall we had thick crash mats on floor because he climbed on everything and jumped off. He has got better as he as got older.

droves Mon 03-Oct-11 22:58:26

Triggles ... Dh was being an arse , i think he is in denial about the kids SN.

DH says that adhd just makes kids a it loud , and autism makes kids a bit quiet..... errr , actually not the case darling husband there is loads more issues with adhd and different ones with asd. Prime issue with both is No Sense Off Danger !!!!

The fact is he did not want to get window locks ect as it is admitting the kids have both more of special needs than dh is willing to accept. Head buried in sand i think...sad

Anyway i told dh that ds3 couldnt come unless house is mad safe as it is the only thing that will get a rocket up dh`s butt and get him to help make the house /windows safe .

We now have the locks we needed and they will be fitted before ds3 comes back on friday. smile .

(Dh this is for you , ----> Safe house = safe kids = happy wife ...grin )

Thank you everyone for replying taking the suggestion of starting at top of the house and working way down and doing it !!!!.

So far ive ...

TURNED Boiler temp down as i noticed the hot water was really hot.

PUT all medicines on top of the fridge <over 6 feet high> in a lidded box there is no way the kids can reach it i have to stand on chair to get it.

All plug sockets are covered .

sharp stuffs <knives , sissors ect> are in drawer and drawer lock will be fitted tomorrow.

Teenagers hair straightners /dryers have now have a box to be stored in when not being used . <So no burns >

Padlocks on toolboxes.

Any other suggestions ?

Triggles Tue 04-Oct-11 13:16:54

A lot depends on his personal fascinations - for example, DS2 likes anything with buttons (pretty much anything electrical) and water. Not generally together, but either separately has their own hazards and mixed is highly dangerous. DS2 is not keen on heights, however, we still have the windows locked as we never really know when the impulse might kick in, as he still climbs on things sometimes.

Going back to what I said previously... please PLEASE tell his mum about the incident that occurred at your house. She NEEDS to know that he has done this so she can take appropriate precautions at her residence. If you don't tell her, you are placing him in danger. I cannot emphasise this enough!

ouryve Tue 04-Oct-11 14:31:00

Oh, yes. Buttons are a biggy in our house, too - with both boys (both ASD, one has ADHD, too). Our TV cabinet is one of those big lockable ones from IKEA, with extra locks! We're thankful that the fridge and freezer are plugged in somewhere inaccessible and have no buttons on the front, since DS1 has a thing for turnign those off. He unplugged my parents' freezer when we visited in the summer shock

And I agree with triggles about telling his mum - it may be a habit she's unaware of. Or it may be that she knows and already takes steps to keep him safe and has advice on other behaviours to look out for.

Chundle Tue 04-Oct-11 18:50:28

We hav wall mounted our tv to keep it a bit safer! Also we have had to remove the fuse from small tubular heater in airing cupboard as dd pressed the button and turned it on and could've caused a fire! All little things like that I guess - sounds like you're doing well already x

droves Tue 04-Oct-11 22:02:39

ds3 is definatly a climber !!!!
loves fiddling with electrical things too. doesnt have water fascination <strangely dd4 does > ,
Loves to take pills ect medicine out of reach .

Mostly he jumps about like his legs are springs . . . . and asks a thousand questions a minute and repeats himself a lot <same question over and over until he gets the answer he likes >

Likes to break things /other kids toys , but precious about his own things/toys.

Tells fibs quite a bit too.

Last one was " my mum stabed me with a fork ! " . Just out of the blue he says it .

hmm <- Gave him that face ..

ME " ok , where ? show me where ?"
DS3 " In my house "
ME " no , i mean where did you get stabbed with a fork on you "
ds3 " err? , im no sure , it might have been ds1 that mum stabbed with a fork "
me " so now your mum stabed your brother with a fork ? "
ds3 " it might have been me ! i dont know ? "
me " ok . Shall i ask mummy then ? "
DS3 " NO . can i get a lolly ?"
ME " sorry , dont have any "
DS3 " mum did stab me with a fork ..i think it was my hand "
DS3 " Was after school today "

ME " DS3 you came here after school . i picked you up in car , you havent seen mummy after school "
ds3 " Oh . can i get a lolly now ? "
ME " no , we dont have any ".
ds3 " lolly"
ME " DS3 , you shouldt tell stories that are not true . Thats not a good thing to do . Its not fair on mummy could have got her into big trouble"
DS3 " i didnt . It wasnt me, can i get lolly now ? "


JsOtherHalf Tue 04-Oct-11 22:17:19

i know this company supplied a local respite care home with various furniture, it's not cheap but something like the tv cabinet could save money overall?

droves Tue 04-Oct-11 22:38:37

JSOTHERHALF ....Wow ! thanks for that link .What a great site ! . Love the furniture ... we are on our third set of bunk beds for the boys ... they usually last about a year before they get kicked to bits <even metal ones>.

Love the lockable toy boxes too . will get some of them . Might save me having to replace things that ds3 breaks if the rest of the kids can lock away their favorite things .

Rounded corners , protection screens for tvs /fishtanks .... my idea of heaven golfball bumps on heads ! grin

JsOtherHalf Wed 05-Oct-11 12:25:12

I can safely say the ordinary beds on that site last for years, even with some very harsh treatment. I seem to recall there were some cabinets for a tv in a bedroom, which were fabulous.

Glad to have been of help.

ouryve Wed 05-Oct-11 13:11:33

droves - we have such eerily similar conversations. DS1 will break his own toys if the outcome is interesting enough to him, as well. He pulled all the socket covers off his Kiddizoom camera, the other day. He's also bent all the straws in his kerplunk and destroyed his Connect 4 game, in recent weeks. He has a fixation with twisting road signs which is utterly maddening and more than a little embarrassing.

One annoyance to do with his (and DS2's habit) of just constantly touching things without thinking is the fact that it's so difficult to buy a decent plastic walled kettle, now. They're all metal or even glass, which just gets so hot (as well as being to heavy for my weedy wrists). We have quite a nice one that's easy for me to fill and pour and can be used to boil a tiny amount of water, really quickly, so leaving no hot water sitting around, but there's a growing crack in it and we will have to replace it, soon and we've found nothing we like that has decent reviews.

Dawndonna Wed 05-Oct-11 17:52:11

We too have had this. Dd1 has done exactly that. I have not lived in a house without lockable windows for the last 14 years. She's 15. Windows upstairs remain locked. Buy a fan.
We've had burns (she doesn't feel pain to the extent that we do) where she has put her hand under the hot tap to see her hand change colour. She sat against a radiator to see what would happen, naked, to see the skin change colour. She hid some sweets in the loo brush holder, which is filled with bleach!
And we too, still don't get enough sleep.
No, you can't be in two places at once, you just have to ensure that he is with someone responsible the whole time. She is still rarely out of my sight. She is better than she was and is old enough to understand what the consequences of her actions might be, but she can still be impulsive.
Good luck.

PattySimcox Wed 05-Oct-11 18:29:33

DS has an obsession with knives, power tools and fire.

So we have no sharp knives in our kitchen, mega locks on DHs tool shed and no lighters or matches in the house at all.

Front door is locked as soon as we all come in and only unlocked to allow people in or out so that we always know where he is.

droves Thu 06-Oct-11 22:19:40

saw magnetic saftey locks in boots today , they look fab and could be used for loads of different things ....cupboards , drawers, strorage chests ect . look pretty sturdy nothing that can be broken off from the outside ...magnet is a key that opens it .

£10 for two ....not bad . wink

JsOtherHalf Mon 10-Oct-11 10:28:55

have a look on amazon for mag locks by dream baby, i have used them in the past and found them very good.

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