Parent to Parent

Planning Ahead for Emergencies

by Patti Hermes

boy broken armHave you been to the emergency room yet this summer? For some families, it’s a classic rite of passage; every summer starts off in the emergency room. At least one major tumble off the scooter or a wipeoout of any kind near a sidewalk and it’s off to the ER and their trusty X-ray machines.

I consider myself very lucky to have gotten this far without too many visits to Urgent Care. But luck will only carry us so far. So on our most recent visit (joining the rest of the start-of-summer traditions) the triage nurse was matter-of-fact. She listened to my son explain what happened, nodding along with him.

“Yes,” she said, “my son did the exact same thing last week. He’s in a cast now, but he’ll be back in action in no time.” She then proceeded to send us down to X-ray. “You know where it is, don’t you?”

I guess my showing up with two young boys in tow led her to that assumption, but no, I did not know the way (my son did!). But I’m sure by the time my youngest ditches the training wheels I will be quite familiar with the x-ray staff at our nearest Urgent Care center.

While no one actually plans on fracturing their arm or slicing open their foot while having fun in the sun, there are some things you can do to be prepared for the inevitable accidents. I’m not saying forget about prevention. Keep the helmets on, and plan for the little things that will happen anyway.

I know everyone says to keep a first aid kit handy, but what does that really mean to you? Pick up a few at your local discount store and spread them around: Mom’s car, Dad’s car, the pool/beach bag, and the fanny pack you bring to the playground. What? You don’t bring one to the playground? A water bottle and a few band-aids will only get you so far. For information on how to stock your first aid kits try this link.

Even the best first aid kit can’t take care of every emergency. Sometimes you need help, and you need to know where to get the help you need, both at home and while you’re travelling. Most urban and suburban areas now have the added option of Urgent Care centers in addition to the traditional hospital emergency room. Know what’s available, and what your family doctor suggests, so you can get the care you need at the right time and place. While travelling, check out your options near where you’ll be staying ahead of time, BEFORE any emergencies arise. You can stay calm and reassuring for a frightened child if you know where to go and how to get there.

For many families, summer fun includes hiking, biking and all day road trips. But many forget a basic rule for avoiding disaster: stay informed with updated weather reports. Never underestimate the power of a surprise storm to cause a major catastrophe. If there’s any chance of a thunderstorm (or tornado, or flash flood) threatening to ruin your plans, change course. And when travelling away from home, in unfamiliar territory, take the advice of the locals, whether you like it or not. It may save your life.

Summer is supposed to be fun, and accidents will happen. They don’t have to be the end of the world, if you know how to handle them. And then you can all go on to enjoy even more fun in the sun.

Patti Hermes

Patti Hermes, Parent to Parent, is living the dream with her high school sweetheart, raising their boys in the Midwest because it's a good starting point for epic road trips. While writing, reading and homeschooling take up most of her time, she still blogs at https://writesforchocolate.blogspot.com.
Patti HermesParent to ParentParentingParent to Parent Planning Ahead for Emergencies by Patti Hermes Have you been to the emergency room yet this summer? For some families, it's a classic rite of passage; every summer starts off in the emergency room. At least one major tumble off the scooter or a wipeoout of...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids