Raising a Wild Toddler: Our First Trip to the ER
As a mom of two young boys, I expect that there will be plenty of bumps, bruises, cuts and tears. The gaping hole in my 18 month-old's forehead that required a trip to the Emergency Room was quite unexpected.
It was a typical evening of tantrums, battles to get pajamas on flailing bodies, and shouts of “no”. My husband was downstairs cleaning up from dinner and I was getting the boys ready for bed. My oldest son was running around like a wild child. My youngest, Noah, was trying out his new stair climbing abilities on the footstool in the bathroom. I was standing right next to him stuffing diapers, when all of a sudden he topples over onto the cold hard floor, smacking his forehead on the footstool. The wooden, adorable footstool I recently nabbed at a thrift store or a great deal. I quickly picked up Noah from the floor to assess the damage. His cry was ear piercing and my heart fell to my feet. At first glance, the small cut appeared very minor and was not yet bleeding. As soon as I touched Noah's forehead, the cut started spurting dark red blood.
My heart stopped as I panicked and called for my husband from downstairs. He quickly ran up the stairs to find me holding Noah's forehead closed with toilet paper, to attempt to stop the bleeding. In his military like fashion, he immediately went through the first aid kit. Once he was able to get the bleeding to slow down a bit, he went to work bandaging up the gaping hole with a butterfly band aid. We then decided that I would bring Noah to the ER, because we feared he may need to be stitched up.
Thankfully the drive to the hospital only takes about 10 minutes. On the short drive over, Noah ended up falling fast asleep. I was grateful that he didn't appear to be in pain. When we got to the hospital, he woke up as soon as I took him out of his car seat. The wait time to get triaged and into a room was about 20 minutes. When we got into a room, Noah started getting antsy and just wanted to run around the halls. You would never know just an hour or so before he was screaming on the bathroom floor. He is seriously one tough kid.
When the doctor finally meandered into our room, Noah was over tired and ready to go home. A quick assessment confirmed that he would need a few stitches to close the cut. The doctor ensured me that the scaring would be very minor and the pain minimal. As quick as he came into our room, he left and we waited some more. Eventually the nurse and doctor came back to sew Humpty Dumpty back together again.
We laid Noah flat on his back on the observation bed and I held down his arms. The nurse quickly administered a rather large shot to numb his forehead. Tears streamed down my little guy's face right after the shot was administered and my heart broke into a million more pieces. The doctor then started sewing Noah's forehead back together with swift and precise stitches. In a matter of minutes, he was finished and a band aid was applied to the wound. I breathed a sign of relief and picked up Noah, who was calmed immediately after I picked him up. We were both beyond happy that was over!
Not long after, the nurse went over the discharge paperwork and we were on our way home. Noah drifted off to sleep on our short ride home and settled easily into bed once we arrived. He recovered quickly and the wound healed within a matter of weeks. Four years into parenting and I'm still amazed at how fast children bounce back from injuries, such as the one Noah experienced. I don't think I will ever forget that split second I saw the blood pouring down his face. It was a true moment of fear that always seems to be in the back of my mind as a mother.
Has your child ever scared you with an injury or illness? How old were they and how did you carry on without wanting to put them in a big bubble?