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Keep Kids Injury Free Advocacy Sheet

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As a parent, it is a daily struggle to keep your kids injury free. More than 20.6 million kids (roughly 56,000 each day) are injured each year, and 90 percent of those injuries occur in the home. At the risk of being over protective, or paranoid, we incessantly remind our children about being careful, and not banging their brother in the head with a plastic golf club.

For example, last night we had a perfectly fine night at a neighbor’s home. As we do sometimes when my husband is traveling for work, we went over there to let our neighbor’s 2-year-old daughter play with my almost 4-year-old and nearly 2.5-year-old boys. They played wonderfully, and we all had a great time. As the 8 o’clock hour approached, I desperately tried to rein in my boys so we could make the trek across the street and begin the bedtime ritual. They were attempting a not-so-safe jump off the sofa arm, and I stopped them short with an, “Okay guys, it’s time to go. Please step down off the sofa, and let’s get our things to go home.”

I immediately saw the tears and frustration well up in their tiny eyes. “But Mama, we’re going to jump off holding hands like a family!” my oldest pleaded. Well, how could I resist their good-natured fun, so I yielded to spontaneity, and allowed them “just this one” jump off the sofa so I could be a good guy and then we could happily go home.

It’s never that easy though, is it? Well, they held hands, jumped giggling, and then collided mid-air, with the oldest’s head conking the little one’s nose and mouth—they tumbled in a heap on the floor crying. I immediately grabbed the youngest in my arms, knowing full well that soft tissue usually doesn’t fare as well as a hard skull does. I exclaimed trying to sound not as concerned as I was, “Oh boy, oh boy…are you guys okay?”

The little one writhed in pain, crying uncontrollably. I held him and tried to calm him, until I saw blood in his mouth, and a trickle of blood from his right nostril. Then the panic set in. I immediately went to work performing “mama emergency medical,” asking for napkins, a soft towel and a baggie of ice.

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The negotiations are amusing...I usually grumble a bit, and then give in to the pleading for "more water," stating, "ok, but then you have to go right to sleep, ok?" I usually chuckle the whole way down the stairs after tucking them into bed after letting them think they had gotten me that little bit.
You are right, Susan. We have to be diligent about keeping dangers to a minimum not only when they're kids, but until they leave for college or elsewhere. It's a balance, but as you said, the statistics are frightening so we do what we can to avoid joining that list.

September 2, 2010 - 1:40pm
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