I am VERY lucky that in my 4+ years of parenting we have been to A&E only twice. Both times were with Spud and both times were head injuries because of an accident involving a radiator just before dinner time!
The first time Spud tripped whilst running in the hall and conked his head on the bottom bit of the radiator splitting it open. The Hubby went into panic overdrive and started freaking out saying he could see Spud’s skull. In situations like this I think parents go either way. The way my Hubby went or the super calm, super efficient care giver that I became.
I managed to stem his bleeding popped a gauze over the cut, handed him a packet of crisps and jumped in the car. He was relatively ok after the initial shock but feeling a bit sorry for himself with the big plaster on his head and blood all over his shirt. He was great at A&E and got glued and steri stripped before we headed home to eat dinner and clean up the accident scene with the vax carpet cleaner.
Fast forward 18 months and you will find us at Nana and Pops’ house waiting patiently for Daddy to show up after not seeing him for 2 weeks. The boys were getting hungry as dinner cooked and they started to get a bit jumpy so I came up with the brilliant idea of playing hide and seek.
Spike is only just 2 so doesn’t quite get the concept but with the help of me and Nana he hid in the toilet and Spud went off to count to 20. After proudly reaching 20 he ran out excitedly looking for his little brother. Spike kept sliding the door in the toilet so my mum kept going in and telling him to be quiet whilst I tried to prolong the game and send Spud in the wrong direction.
He ran off to the study and we decided Spike probably wouldn’t last much longer being “quiet” so I called Spud back. He span mid run on a wooden floor which had been wiped earlier that day and went flying into the corner of the radiator cover which made contact with his eye. I knew it was serious because I have never ever heard the scream that came out of him come from a human. It was horrific.
I managed to grab him into a cuddle just to try and calm him a little bit but he was hysterical. My mum has done nursing training so was trying to get him to show her his eye but he was holding it like it might fall out. His nose was bleeding a little which was a bit concerning because we could see exactly where the contact had been made with his eye.
Eventually with the help of Pops and the word chocolate Spud revealed his eye which was already swelling up. We managed to check his actual eye and it didn’t look like anything sinister had happened but we decided that because it was his eye we would take him to A&E.
I asked Pops to come along which I am really glad I did. He sat in the back and within 5 minutes of being in the car Spud decided he wanted to go to sleep. Not having much experience of head injuries in children we both thought this was a bad thing so spent the 20 minute car journey trying to keep him awake. Ten minutes in he was sick. Alarm bells really did start ringing then because every time I’ve hurt my head I’ve been told drowsiness and sickness are BAD.
Being a head injury we got seen pretty quickly at Children’s A&E after Spud had been sick again. The nurse gave him some Calpol and Nurofen, checked his eye and then we got sent to see the nurse practitioner. Apparently drowsiness is quite common when children hurt their heads and as long as the initial accident didn’t knock him out there really was nothing to worry about. Vomiting is also a common side effect but until a child is sick 3 times they aren’t concerned.
Spud lay down on a bed to have a nap whilst my dad and I sat next to him waiting for his obs every 30 minutes, praying that he wasn’t sick again because I REALLY didn’t want to stay in overnight. He snored like a trooper and even had a few of the nurses giggling as they walked past! I went out to get some food whilst Spud slept and eventually after 90 minutes the nurse said she would do his obs and wake him up, if all went well we could go home. He was fine, albeit a bit annoyed about being woken from his slumber.
He was nice and chatty on the way home and was delighted to see that whilst we were out Daddy had arrived. After a few mouthfuls of dry toast and cuddles with Daddy he went off to bed. We were told just to let him sleep but check on him at my bed time like usual. Waking him to check him throughout the night would only make him grumpy the next day and then we wouldn’t know if he was grumpy through lack of sleep or as a side effect of his bump.
Spud was fine, he slept all night but woke up at 7am complaining that his eye hurt and that it was weeing. It was running a little bit purely because it was so swollen. For the next week he sported a rather impressive black eye which he soon became very proud of.