What to do if Your Child Has an Accident
Whether you witness the accident yourself or you get that dreaded phone call, it’s incredibly scary when your child has even a minor accident. Every parent should do their best to avoid accidents, but also be prepared in case they do happen, so here are some things to remember.
Give First Aid When Possible
All parents should consider taking a first aid course specifically designed for treating babies and children. First aid for kids can be different to that given to adults, especially when it comes to things like choking. Therefore, it’s important to find out if there’s a specific course near you. Knowing what to do if your child is injured can make you a little calmer as you focus on giving first aid. If the injury is serious, call 999 before you begin giving treatment.
Children are often very upset after accidents, so they may need a lot of reassurance. It’s quite common for them to develop phobias based on accidents; for example, if they fall off their bike, they may not want to get back on again. In these cases, it’s better to get them to try again once you’ve treated their injury and have given them positive reinforcement.
Find Out the Cause of the Accident
Once your child is out of immediate danger, you should look at the cause of the accident and try to prevent it from happening again. Some of the most common household accidents include falling objects, trips and falls, cuts and burns — all of which are usually preventable with some baby-proofing and extra care. It’s easy to miss things around the home, so an accident can be a wake-up call that something needs to change.
Check Whether They Need Ongoing Care
Some of the more serious accidents may involve injuries that need to be dealt with by a specialist — for example, when kids suffer serious burns, broken bones or head injuries. When your child is dismissed from hospital, you may need to wait for a referral to see a specialist.
If your child’s injuries were caused by another person, it may be worth seeing if you can take legal action, which can help you cover some of the costs for private care. Making a compensation claim for a hit and run injury — or a similar event — can help you recover from things like loss of earnings while caring for your child or the costs of counselling sessions to help them through the trauma, so it may be worth considering.
Work With the School, When Necessary
If the accident happened on school grounds, or somewhere like an after school club or sports club, then it’s important to find out how the accident occurred, whether it was properly dealt with, and what steps they’ve put in place to stop it happening again. People who work with kids should be first aid trained, and all accidents in these sorts of settings should be recorded in an accident book so there is a record of what happened. If you aren’t satisfied with the answer, don’t hesitate to escalate your complaint to a manager or the headteacher. It could save another child from going through a similar ordeal.