Children are tough little creatures, but when they fall, they fall hard. Two weeks ago Kallista was running at top speed pretending to be a bubble (her dress was a bubble print and she was being imaginative, just like children love to be). Unfortunately, she’s going through a growth spurt and her brain hasn’t yet caught up with her feet and she fell head over foot, her little face bouncing off the tarmac. Her bubble burst and she was in tears.
Her little face, forehead, and knee were all skinned and she was upset (rightly so)!
The first thing Tristan and I did was to make sure she didn’t have any broken bones and have a look at her knee and her face. I carried her over to a nearby bench and sat her down. I unzipped my always-present backpack and pulled out a tissue for Kallista’s tears and the first aid kit.
A first aid kit is essential to have with you when you look after children, but there’s one one thing it can’t (usually) do: calm a child.
Ways to Soothe an Injured Child:
- Stay calm! If you panic, the child will also panic and think things are worse than they are. Even if things are bad, keep yourself calm so you can have a clear head.
- Give the child lots of reassurance.
- I highly recommend that anyone who spends time with children should have training in emergency first aid. It gives you the reassurance that you’ll know what to do, and this knowledge helps you to keep a calm and cool head.
- If it’s possible, give the child cuddles. Love and cuddles go a long way to help someone calm down. They’ll feel protected and their breathing and heart rate will slow to mimic yours. (Think kangaroo care in neo-natal units)
- Distraction is a great tactic! Point out something strange, ask if that was a purple camel that just flew past, what’s for dinner, etc.
- Relate to them, tell them a story about when something similar happened to you. What did you do? What was the outcome?
- Humour is always good in a ‘serious’ situation. If you know any jokes, or can find something to be ‘punny’ about, do it! Tristan and I told Kallista she was a walking science lesson…we talked about the layers of skin and about the different blood cells and what they do. Now she wants to learn more about blood!
- I carry special stickers in my wallet to reward good behaviour in tough situations, or for occasions like this. On this day I also let Kallista choose a treat of her choice from the village. (Even given the option of a small candy, she chose a cheesy bun from our local bakery).
- When you patch up your ‘patient’, let them help if they want to. This gives them a sense of control over the situation. On this day Kallista chose the plaster (band-aid to folks from North America) and Tristan helped to apply it. This made Tristan feel like he was helping, and Kallista felt more ‘loved’.
- Be prepared. Carry a first aid kit. They don’t have to be big or fancy. A zip-top bag would do in a pinch. And be sure to have it stocked with a variety of plasters.
The day after Kallista’s fall I received an email asking if we’d like to try out some Dermocare plasters. These plasters are uber-cool! They come in 2 varieties: ‘Ocean Life‘ and ‘Safari‘. And each box contains 18 plasters in 3 different sizes and 9 different ‘real-life’ pictures.
Even cooler than the plaster pictures themselves, is that with each purchase, you’re supporting the projects of the WWF (World Wildlife Fund). You know that we love nature, and we like to do what we can to preserve it.
How do these plasters work? It didn’t take us long to find out! Kallista had paper cut that was giving her trouble and she didn’t want to practice her handwriting. I asked if a plaster would help, and she brightened up. She chose an Ocean Life plaster with a picture of a clown fish on it (she said it was Nemo’s dad!). The backing of the plaster packets are clear so that you can clearly see the pictures.
Now she was ready to continue on with her lessons! Perhaps a first aid kid can soothe an injured child.
I’d love to hear how you soothe your children when they’re hurt, let me know in the comments below.
Where can you get these WWF plasters?
- WWF shop
WWF is building a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. This is in the interest of nature, but also in the interests of man. WWF works in over 90 countries in projects in the fields of animals & plants, forests, climate, water, oceans and coasts.