Emergency room visits an overreaction to childhood scrapes?(Read article summary)
Emergency room visits for typical childhood playground accidents are probably an overreaction. Attitude adjustment to fearful parenting is necessary: "worst-first" is not the best philosophy.
Tony Avelar/The Christian Science Monitor
Â Dear Free-Range Kids: My two-year old daughter face-planted while running on a sidewalk yesterday late afternoon. Now sheâs got a scrape on her forehead and a âGroucho Marxâ-looking mustache/skinned upper lip. We checked that her teeth and nose were fine, and she stopped crying before we got home.
Look: She fell while running. Itâs no worse than having a skinned knee, just in a bit more obvious place. We put ice and Neosporin on it, and she was back to herself by dinner time. Since when do we rush off to the ER for every scrape, bruise, and cut? Itâs no wonder that medical insurance is skyrocketing if we rush off frantically to the hospital every time a child falls down.Â And, why react with a gasp and âOh my gosh!â to seeing a child with a scrape and a scab on her face? Itâs teaching her that something terrible happened to her, when it was reallyÂ justÂ a fall.
Seems to me we are instilling a culture of fear by reacting with such grandiosity to such a normal accident.Â Beyond that, I canât tell you how many moms have told me that âbecause sheâs a girl, you really should put [insert numerous product names] on it to minimize the scarring.â I just donât think that I am (literally) scarring my child by keeping my reaction to a sane minimum. â Jen.
Dear Jen: Iâve wondered myself why Iâm at the pediatricianâs office so much more than my mom was with me.
I think itâs all part of Â âworst-firstâ thinking. We are encouraged to consider how every incident or sniffle COULD turn into the worst possible thing, and how terrible would we feel if we hadnât addressed it with all guns blazing. Â âWait and seeâ has become âWait and see how you feel when your child doesnât recover and itâs all your fault!â
No wonder itâs so hard to resist the impulse to Â make a big fuss, or at the very least, spend a lot of time and money. â L.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs.Â Lenore SkenazyÂ blogs atÂ Free-Range Kids.