Imagine this perfectly possible scenario: It is Thursday morning and you are at work. Droning away on your computer, trying to deliver the report your boss requested before the deadline, you take a deep sigh, wondering how your daughter Felicia is doing at school. As you reach for your mug of coffee, your phone rings. It is Felicia´s school, Toa Payoh Primary. You answer the phone, and hear muffled screaming and crying in the background.
The person who called you says to you in a frantic voice, ¨Hi Mrs Loh, this is your daughter Felicia´s form teacher. Felicia was using her phone while going down the stairs and had ended up falling, fracturing her arm. I intend to drive her to KK Hospital to see a bone specialist, please meet me there.¨
You fly to your boss´ desk and told him of the situation. His eyebrows lower and he urgently rushes you to go to attend to your daughter. You drive to KK Hospital to see your dear daughter wailing profusely, with a broken bone jutting out of her front arm. Your heart sinks, and you quickly discuss with her form teacher, Mr Quek, about what has happened.
After a few hours, Felicia leaves the hospital in a cast, with her arm set. You had been googling and asking the nurses on how to take care of your child who has a fractured arm, and begin to drive home, having had enough for one day.
1) Emotionally support your child
A child who has sustained an injury, be it a slight scratch or a consequential fracture, can incur serious psychological trauma as a result of his injury. It is vital that you speak to your child and nurse them not only physically but emotionally as well, showing them that you care and are there to take care of them, even in their weakest moments. Such loveful acts can not only strengthen your ties with your children, but can also show them the value of having a functional family. It also helps them develop into virtuous adults full of compassion and empathy, and help them live meaningful and rich lives.
2) Change their dressings
If your child has a wound their requires bandaging, be sure to help them change and dress their wounds, such as cleaning it if it is dirty. It is recommended that you change the dressings of their wounds daily, as infections might occur if proper hygiene is not observed. Be sure to remind them not to pick at their wounds, and ensure that the bandages cover the scabs so they cannot pick at it!
3) Help them shower or clean themselves
This especially applies to if your child has a cast placed over any of their body parts. A cast can significantly hinder their mobility, and as a result, might prevent them from cleaning themselves adequately. For example, if your child only has one hand that is available for use, he would find significant difficulty in being able to clean himself. Invest in wet wipes and baby powder, and use a cloth and a bucket to wipe your child down. You can consider putting a bit of soap in the bucket.
Remember, whilst wearing a cast, your child must absolutely not move the part of the body that is covered, and cannot let water get into the cast either. This is extremely troublesome but is necessary to prevent mould from growing or infections from occurring. It can get very itchy in the cast, considering the fact that that part of the body will not be washed for a few months.
4) Teach your child a lesson
If the injuries your child had sustained was somehow their own responsibility, show them that the actions that they had chosen had led to such consequences and their own suffering. Try not to come off as naggy, and hopefully with good parenting skills, and if we were to follow the example I gave above, Felicia would learn not to use her phone while navigating important junctures such as navigating the stairs, crossing the road or even while driving a car. Remember that your children are still young and it is natural for them to make mistakes – what matters is they take responsibility and learn from them.