SYRACUSE, N.Y (WSYR-TV) — With allergy season in full bloom, many people likely have allergy medication at home. Parents are encouraged to keep it out of site following the ‘Benadryl challenge’ that recently went viral on social media.
The challenge encourages users to take large amounts of the drug to get high and record their responses.
“A child sadly passed away from having too much of the diphenhydramine,” said Vincent Calleo, the Medical Director at the Upstate New York Poison Center. “It in of itself as a medication when taken for something like allergies or itching is normally pretty safe.”
The center has received calls related to allergy medication overdoses, but Calleo said not all are related to the challenge. He shares symptoms to look out for.
“Sometimes they may be having their speech may be a little different than normal. They may be reaching for things in the air that aren’t there. You may notice their pupils may be bigger than they typically are. They may have complaints of their heart racing,” he explained.
Calleo said medication overdoes can even cause seizures and heart problems. While Benadryl is top of mind there have been other viral challenges that have been harmful including Tide pods.
“The first thing I always remind families is to try to have a good open relationship between the parents and the child because having that ability to talk with both parties does help the child to feel more open and more willing to communicate with the parents,” Calleo said.
If you have any questions or concerns you can contact the Upstate New York Poison Center by calling (800) 222-1222. They’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.