It was one of those days. Every Mum has them, but as Mum to four boys and working as a childminder I maybe had more little people involved in my day than most Mums. More little people = more potential for accidents!
My first minded child had arrived bright and early at 7.30am, my second at 8am, and then I had to chase the three big boys out to their respective schools. The day panned out as many of my days did at that time; toddler groups or an outing with the three little ones in the morning, and then lunch and naps before the afternoon school run.
That’s when it got busy. I picked up three minded children from school and nursery, plus two of my own, and in the afternoons had 7 children in my care. It usually worked well; the range of ages meant the bigger ones helped out with the little ones, and we all had a snack and a drink together to talk about our days before all choosing activities to do before dinner.
This day was different. In a split second, everything changed. In a moment of excitement one of the children ran in the hallway, slipped and fell. She banged her chin on the floor, jarring her teeth together. I quickly realised something more than a bump had happened as I saw her start to get up; the skin under her chin had split with the pressure of the impact, leaving an inch-long wound. I won’t go into too much detail, but there was blood, and it wasn’t pretty!
Thanks to my previous career as a nurse, and the first aid training I had undertaken in order to be a childminder, my instincts kicked in. I grabbed some kitchen towel and applied pressure to the wound, while reassuring and comforting the rather stunned child. After 5 minutes or so she was calm enough to be able to apply pressure to the wound herself, which gave me a chance to make phone calls to her parents. I knew from my experience that this one needed a trip to hospital, and because the parents of the injured child both worked a long way away I had to get her there, so it was quite a feat to arrange emergency play dates for my own three younger sons, and for the three other minded children to be collected or dropped off. Thankfully the child in question was being very calm and sensible by this time, and understood all that was happening. She was managing the bleeding well herself keeping the pressure on the wound, and was able to travel in my car rather than needing an ambulance. We finally made it to the hospital where we met her Dad, and I could hand the situation over.
It was a day I won’t forget in a hurry; it was two years ago as I type! Having my first aid training meant that I managed; I kicked into automatic gear as I faced the situation, and we all came out in one piece.
I will confess however, that I did need a large cup of tea as I completed the necessary accident forms followed by a large glass of wine to help my nerves recover in the aftermath!