On the 21st it was my turn to pick up Toren from daycare (we negotiate it every day; that day I volunteered).  As I walked up to the door to his classroom, I looked through the glass window and saw Toren sitting on top of one of the toy shelves with another child in the class.  The shelves are about 2 1/2 feet tall and are stocked with toys.  The kids aren’t supposed to climb on them, but they occasionally do.  (Alas, I think Toren may have been the first one to come up with the idea as no one else was doing it before he started doing it.)  Enterprisingly, Toren and the other child had moved chairs from the table over to the shelves and then used those as a stepping stool so they could climb on top (Toren does it without the chairs sometimes, too, but he decided he wanted some help this time I guess).

Normally the teacher would take them off the shelves, but they had waited for the perfect opportunity – the teacher was changing one of the other kid’s diapers (and the changing pad is on a rather high counter).  The teacher couldn’t leave the child whose diaper she was changing to get Toren and his accomplice, but was going to as soon as she finished.

I, of course, chose just that moment to show up.  As I walked into the class, I said to Toren, “Hey you, what are you doing up there?”  He looked up at me and smiled (a very guilty smile, I might add).  As I turned around to lock the door, Toren twisted around so he could climb off the shelves, but as he went to set his hand down on the top, he missed and…. Fell right on his head on to the tile floor!

Ughhh!!!  We certainly don’t want to discourage him from being active and exploring, but it’s awful to see that happen.  I turned just in time to see him hit the floor.  I ran straight to him and scooped him up, but the damage was already done.  A small bump was already starting to form on his forehead and he was wailing in pain.  The teacher had just finished putting on the diaper and was duly frazzled, but responded well.  She pulled the other kid off and grabbed some ice for me to put on Toren’s head.  He hates it when we put ice on him, but will usually allow it if he’s distracted by a video.  I typically have some on my phone, but I left it in the car.  So, rather than hold him down to ice his head, I simply raced him out to the car and gave him my phone (which got him to stop crying), then raced the mile home to our house and grabbed the ice pack.

I iced his head for about an hour (which I think helped a lot).  Toren struggled a little, but his new favorite show, Cars, kept him entertained most of the time.  (He just went through an Ice Age phase where he must have watched it 30 times (in pieces; he rarely gets 2 hours of TV time straight; usually it’s less than an hour).  He has a nice bump and bruise, but seems perfectly fine.

Me, on the other hand?  I’m frazzled.  I hate, hate, hate watching that happen to my son.  It’s awful.  And knowing I was that close and that he was trying to get down to come to me is even worse.  I’m just hoping all of these falls don’t mean permanent damage is being done to his brain… Poor kid.

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2 Replies to “How many does it take before permanent damage is done?”

  1. @Ezra
    Good to know.

    Frankly, I’m amazed at the resilience of the human body. Given the number of bug bites, bruises, falls, and bumps Toren has had, it’s amazing he still wants to run around at all. But, you’re right, evolution has taken care of most of the problems associated with this injuries. Praise Darwin!

  2. The intensity of a hit to the head probably has a larger impact on long-term damage than the number of times the head is hit. A fall of ~0.75m is not much relatively, depending on the vector of the rest of his body. Given the unavoidable proclivity for children to have such accidents, the species wouldn’t have survived very long if a mechanism to deal with that environment hadn’t developed (CSF), or offspring became much better at head-bang avoidance.

    I’d be more concerned with incidents where there is a high amount of kinetic energy involved. The little stuff is enough to reinforce learning.

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