It happened this weekend. My 5 year old was racing around the room, showing his grandparents how fast he was (because he ate all of his vegetables at dinner - my husband told him that green things make you fast) and - SLAM!
He slipped and fell face first against the doorway. There was crying right away and he ran straight into my arms. I picked him up and carried him to the kitchen counter so I could see the level of the damage we were dealing with.
We got lucky.
There was a bit of blood in his mouth by his lower teeth but I quickly noticed it was just a small cut lip. Since becoming a bit more seasoned in parenting, I have developed a method for handling injuries.
First, hold them tight, get to a place where you can see better and calmly survey the injury. Same thing, every time.
In a split second, you should be able to tell if it's bad. Like "we're going to call 911 or head to the ER" kind of bad. My kid is 5 and we've gone to the ER only once. This means that 99 times out of 100, the injury is not too bad.
So this weekend, when I assessed that his fall was "not too bad" - I gave him one of our Dribble Shield™ burp cloths right away and held him. Instinctively, he nuzzled his face into it and cried into my chest. I spoke quietly and we did some deep breathing together. And in about 60 seconds, he was ten times better and ready for me to take another look. A bit of ointment, some Tylenol, a kiss and he was on his way.
Why is this my method? Why didn't I try to "fix" the cut right away?
Babies and kids respond to energy. They get scared and don't know how to calm down. They hyperventilate. They puke. (Ask me about that one time visiting Santa - it did not end well for anyone)
My husband is a "panicker" when our kids get injured. If he sees blood, he has a paper towel in hand trying to wipe it up, keep it off their clothes and see the full scope of the wound asap because he's certain stitches will be needed. The baby/toddler does not handle this kind of approach well at all. Crying increases exponentially. They refuse to let you see the "boo-boo" and it's not good.
I've had to coach him into my method over the years and now he does fairly well.
So back to energy. An injured kid is in pain and therefore scared. If you rush in as a panicked parent, the child gets more scared. Telling them to calm down doesn't mean anything to a kid in pain. You have to show them how.
Enter our Dribble Shield™ burp cloth. If you've heard me talk about them before,
you know that I mention that these "burp cloths" grow with your child; from baby and beyond. This is one of those perfect examples of why you should always have a few on-hand.
In that moment, with my son sitting on the kitchen counter, I could have handed him a napkin, or a tissue or even a terrycloth towel to dry his face, wipe away blood. Instead, I will choose a Dribble Shield™ cloth every time. I do so for 4 reasons.
- It's Soothing
- It's Sensitive
- It's Stain-friendly
- It's always On-Hand
1st - It's SOOTHING - a Dribble Shield™ burp cloth is super soft (especially if you've washed it 50 times) so it's perfect for your child to use to wipe their eyes and face without irritation. It's cotton fabric and it will release those familiar endorphins associated with blankets and loveys helping them to calm down more quickly. A napkin or tissue will not get the same response.
2nd SENSITIVE - a Dribble Shield™ is made of plain muslin cotton. No harsh dyes. No synthetic fibers. No fuzz that can come off or stick to a wound. A terrycloth towel might be absorbent but it's bulky and you don't need extra fibers coming off in your child's eyes, nose etc.
3rd STAIN-FRIENDLY - yes, our Dribble Shield™ cloths are white but they are super great at releasing stains with stain treatments sprays and even bleach. Blood comes out of a burp cloth much easier than your lovely kitchen towel.
4th ON-HAND - and because of #'s one through three above (and all of the other messes that come from having young children), we have at least one Dribble Shield™ cloth hanging on it's included self-adhesive hook on the side of our Refrigerator at all times. We also always have one in the diaper bag and car because bumps and scrapes happen on-the-go too.
At the end of the day, kids get hurt. Tears are inevitable but I love having a method that helps my littles learn to calm down with something that is soothing, healthier and easy for me to clean.