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How Not to Freak Out When Your Child is Bleeding - a Mum's Perspective

By Catherine Sim - 13th October 2010

Having survived the school holidays, I thought it was time to put pen to paper before I have to make another trip to the doctor/dentist/hospital.

When I finished high school last century, my very sensible parents encouraged me to do nursing. Many years and children later I am eternally grateful for that three year course in how-not-to-freak-out-when-someone is-bleeding…a lot.

We started off with the usual rolling off the lounge/ falling up/down stair accidents and progressed rapidly to falls onto/off playground equipment/bikes/pogo sticks/flying foxes .
One memorable month I had two boys with different limbs plastered at the same time which made bathing and toileting like a game of Twister.

One of the more difficult to explain injuries was the cut with fifteen stiches in Number 2 son's thumb caused by jumping on a bed, with a cast, and smashing a lightglobe that another boy was holding above his head because he had had a bright idea.

We've fortunately only had one lights and sirens accident involving a piece of bracing metal and a slippery dip, but I'm not going to tell you the details lest you judge me. Enough to say there were about 30 stiches in son Number 1’s neck and Dad had a bump on his head because he fainted.

I hope at this stage you are not picking up the phone to call DOCS. In my defence I'm a reasonably careful, conscientious mother who has managed to give birth to four accident- prone children. My 15 year old fell off a chair doing a religious assignment the other night and I was nowhere near her.

Number 1 son - this one has more bad luck than most - came home last week with a splinter in his bottom from sliding around on the floor of the Scout hall. “No problem” I said, as I pulled on the headlamp and snapped on the rubber gloves. 5 centimetres later it was still coming and his dad had to put his head between his knees.

Of course 2010 has become known amongst our friends and family as the Year of the Tooth. A lovely dentist in Dubbo who we had to drag off the golf course on Good Friday to stick Number 3 son's front tooth back on after an incident with a swing, told us that 1 in 10 families have a serious dental accident. Well you can all relax now because in the previous 2 months both the other boys had knocked some or most of their front teeth ,  so we have used up the odds for at least 30 of you. Number 1 son being pushed into a pool by a friend (Won't mention names but you know who you are Harry Simpson). And Number 2 on a skate ramp. Yes, he was wearing a helmet. No, that didn’t help.

The biggest problem for me now is finding appropriate food for my dentally-challenged boys. No more apples in the lunch box or their temporary caps come out. No steak sandwiches either, as we found out on the weekend.

I look back in disbelief at some of these childhood injuries and my only comfort is that had I been standing beside them at the time I could not have prevented them. The downside of independent, adventurous children is that sometimes they hurt themselves. They will climb higher and run faster and jump further and I only hope that my exhortations and warnings combine with their own common sense and self-preservation instinct to take them to adulthood.

We can't always be there to catch them but we can be there to suck a pea out of their ear with a vacuum cleaner (Not me this time but very resourceful don’t you think?)
At least they are all very stoic. They will have stitches, x-rays and needles without batting an eyelid. “Will it hurt?” They ask. “Probably” I answer, and they suck it up.

image freedigitalphotos.net Renjith Krishnan

Comments (1)

injury prone/wonderfully active kids

.....a vacuum cleaner to the ear! who'd of thought?...... i did have a laugh, let's hope they ALL make it to their 21st birthdays so we can toast their survival with some champagne.

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