Accidents are inevitable. You try your best to avoid them but they happen anyway. I’ll always remember my son’s first injurious encounter and the feelings of agitation and hysteria that accompanied it.
My son at 15 months old is a very active toddler. As soon as he learned how to climb furniture, he was unstoppable. He sees a chair and he had to climb it. I had to supervise him every minute. One afternoon, I was in the kitchen cooking and my son was busy playing with his toys. Then, without warning, I heard him crying at the top of his lungs. I rushed to where he was and found him at the floor by the computer chair. I picked him up at once and upon seeing his face smeared in red liquid, panic and dread set in. I felt so weak that my knees buckled. Blood has that effect on me and the sight of it on my little baby’s face was nothing I was prepared for. It was disconcerting, to say the least.
I then carried my poor crying baby to the bathroom sink to wash the blood off his face and examine the wound. It was just below his left eyebrow and the cut wasn’t too big but it wouldn’t stop bleeding. I figured he fell from the chair and hit his face on the table’s edge in front of it. I yelled for my husband, who was sleeping at the time due to a late-night shift. I relayed what happened, handed him our son and grabbed the phone. I recalled being so disoriented, not knowing what to do and who to call. Getting hold of his pediatrician usually takes forever so I dialed 911 and in a trembling voice, I explained the situation. Within five minutes, paramedics were knocking at our door – four of them. At that time, my son had already stopped crying and a Band-Aid was in place over his cut. One of them examined my son while the others looked on. They were probably rolling their eyes, thinking I was another first-time mother exaggerating my son’s minor accident. The paramedic said the bleeding has stopped but it’s best to bring him to the hospital for stitches because it was an open cut. He offered us a ride in the ambulance. We declined and took him ourselves. On the way to the hospital, I had mixed emotions. I felt silly for having called 911, though when it comes to my child, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I felt guilty for being negligent – I could’ve prevented it from happening. I felt thankful that he didn’t hit his eye – the cut was dangerously close to his eye and it could’ve been worse. I felt proud of my son because despite an open wound which would obviously hurt, he ceased from crying and was back to his normal happy self. Lastly, I felt anxious of what awaits us in the emergency room.
It was 7 at night then and the ER was packed. I anticipated a long wait, maybe two hours tops. Because of the state of my mind at the time, it never occurred to me to bring any snacks, not even a bottle of water. Couple hours passed and my growing impatience had me frequently bothering the receptionist. Maybe if I pressure her enough, she’ll call my son’s name next. We were finally seen by the doctor after three hours of panic-filled waiting. After appraising my son’s cut, the doctor decided to use Dermabond to close the wound, instead of stitches. I was relieved. I hated the idea of my precious baby having stitches on his face. Dermabond is a liquid skin adhesive that seals lacerations. It is quick and painless. As it was being applied over my son’s cut, he cried like crazy but after a minute it was done. Thank God for that speedy procedure. I was informed that the healing process will take 3 days, a week at the most. After it is healed, the hardened adhesive will fall off and it will look as if the cut was never there. The doctor advised me to keep the area dry for a couple days. Weeks later, he had a barely noticeable scar below his eyebrow. He still loves climbing furniture, too young to learn a lesson from that incident. I, on the other hand, learned mine. I became very cautious after that, maybe taking it too far at times, but I swore to myself I’ll never let that happen to my child again
One of the most difficult tasks parents have to endure is protecting their child in a world filled with hazards. As a mother, there’s nothing I want more than to spare my child from anything painful and distressing. Yes accidents are a part of life, but they can be prevented with the necessary precautions.