Would you know what to do if your child gets injured?

Everything becomes a juggling act when a two year old is involved. Even cooking dinner requires eyes in the back of your head. They're here, they're there, they're everywhere!

Unfortunately, I do not have eyes in the back of my head. So, while the kettle was boiling on the bench behind me, I was browning meatballs in the pan in front of me and Miss 2
was opening and closing the kitchen cupboards chortling merrily. At least she was only a minute or less before.

Less than a minute. I bet we could fill a book with things a toddler can get up to in only one minute. Fortunately the majority of these possibilities don't result in injury but they don't distinguish the difference, do they?

A freshly boiled kettle and a two year old determined to explore her vertical world…. Yeah, shit got real. Very real!

Do you know how to treat a scald or burn?
It has been an age since I've had any kind of first aid training and my immediate reaction broke rule #1.

Panic makes rational thought very difficult. Although I'm happy to say we did manage to tick off the important steps they were poorly executed to say the least.
It's so easy to look back and pick out mistakes but we can't go back.
I should have left the burn under the water for longer, I should have selected a more appropriate wet dressing and of course, it should never have happened at all.

None of those things matter now. It happened, we dealt with it quickly, as best I knew how. Within 30 minutes she had been treated by a doctor and now we focus on the road to recovery.

Was it my fault? Absolutely! As her parent and the only responsible adult in the house at the time, her safety was my responsibility.
Was it preventable? Almost everything is preventable in hindsight.  Not boiling the kettle and/or watching my child every single second would certainly have prevented this accident.
Most parents will recognize how unrealistic these expectations are but none the less, my child, my responsibility, my fault.

I had no idea how common this kind of accident was. At first, I thought the medical staff were just trying to comfort me.
“It happens,” the doctor nodded, “A lot.”
Then as we picked my son up from preschool, the same reassurance from teachers there.
In fact, as I shared Emma's story with family and friends, I was shocked at how many had similar stories of their own.

So I urge you, no matter how vigilant you think you are, no matter how many safety measures you have in place around the home, to brush up on your first aid knowledge. You won't always have time to Google it.

Accidents may be preventable, but they still happen.


  1. I'm so sorry, it's horrible when are babies are hurting (even when our babies are in college). I do not believe it was your fault. We all do the best we can, you weren't negligent, you didn't walk away and leave her there. Accidents happen. The point is to get the help you need immediately and you did. When my son cut his face open, I kinda went in to shock, lost time. I hope if there is ever another time (I hope there's never another time), I'll do better.

    1. Thank you Karen. It is hard to stay calm and react when it's your own child. I hope neither of us has another time but...well, you know.

  2. I'm so sorry you guys had to go through this. There is nothing worse than that horrible feeling when you beat yourself over what you 'could have/should have' done, but you know it is called an accident for a reason... because it's 'accidental'. They happen to even the most careful of us, so please be gentle with yourself and your little one while you both heal.


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