Act Like Children and You’ll Get a Boo Boo.

My sister and her family came over last Sunday for a delicious dinner of Beef Bourguignon (been dying to make Ina Garten’s recipe – made it into my permanent recipe box!). My niece Julia had a blast running around, digging through her toy box (a collection of puzzles and card gamers from the dollar aisle at Rite Aid and old Fisher-Price toys from Greg’s childhood), and climbing on my sofa, stools, and clear acrylic waterfall table. My house is not kid-proofed in anyway, however, I realize that most of my furnishings are soft or have soft edges. Whew!

However, today I came across the Household Injuries and How Kids Get Them article from the New York Times and thought I’d share it with you. Once I read through it, I realized dangers lurk all over – not just near the raging open wood-burning fireplace (it is my source of relaxation, ambiance, and Om in cold winter months). I do recall swinging on my bedroom door knobs as my sister pushed me back to swing yet again. Wheee! How did I survive?

“The three words I always use are falling, climbing and jumping,” said Dr. Alan Nager, acting head of emergency medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Children have been known to combine these misdemeanors into a felony: climbing with an intent to jump, leading to a fall in the first degree.

They may be creative miscreants. But physicians say that many of the accidents that send them to the emergency room occur in just a few household spaces.

Start with the bed. Children should not jump on it, said Dr. Joan Bregstein, a pediatric emergency room physician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. Parents already know this rule. They have been heard to recite it a few hundred times in the course of an afternoon.

What they may not know about are the injuries that occur when leaping children land on a nightstand or dresser. As a result, Dr. Bregstein said, she sees many lacerations “on the forehead, or on the top of the head, the back of the head.”

She also sees “hematomas everywhere” — a collection of blood between the outside of the bone and the skin. Emergency room doctors often use the word “egg” to describe hematomas to the head. But Dr. Bregstein has her own nickname: goobers.

Another fast way to get one? Climbing in and out of a chair that tips and falls. Dr. Nager said he sees three to six chair falls a week. Many of these accidents, he added, seem to occur when a parent steps out of the room momentarily.

The solution? “Supervision,” he said. Constant, unstinting, exhausting supervision.

As the author says in the end, children may be accident-prone, for sure. But they are not so easy to fool.

Be safe in 2011 kids of all ages (even 37!). And when in doubt, grab your Keep Calm and Carry On bandaids. I got some red ones for Christmas and Julia got one ‘just because’ before she headed home.

Keep Calm and Carry On bandages

Keep Calm and Carry On bandages

 

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