Invincible Children vs. Fragile Adults
By Tim Krason
Last night, during a get-together at my house, I heard a loud “bang” from the kids’ hallway, and then my eight-year old came stumbling out into the living room crying. “What happened?!” I asked. Through sobs, he communicated, “I…kicked…the side…of Lydia’s…doorway!” I soon pieced together that he and his brother were playing soccer in the hallway using a balloon. Isaac missed the balloon and landed a glancing blow on the doorframe with his second and third toes, neither of which he was able to move at this point. Since it was getting close to bedtime anyway, I suggested he take a bath. (It’s the best distraction I could come up with at the moment.) He agreed and then asked if hot baths help with broken toes. Trying to stay above board, I told him that they probably don’t help the toes but that they help the kid in general; he seemed satisfied.
The end of this story is probably what happens 98% of the time with kid injuries. Even though the toes were still hurting “so bad” after the bath that he immobilized them with medical tape before getting into bed, that’s the last we’ve heard of the sore toes. He never complained about them today, and he hasn’t been hampered at all in normal activities. Aren’t kids’ bodies a miracle?!
A few weeks ago, our seven-year old had his birthday party at the skating rink. Kids were crashing left and right—even the ones who were using skate assists—and those wooden floors have no give to them whatsoever. But as far as I know, not one kid was injured. Unfortunately, though, we did have a few dads at the party trying to relive their skating glory days of the 1980s. One of them took a seemingly innocuous tumble and ended up in a wrist brace for three weeks by doctor’s order. I myself may have dodged a bullet. In attempting to spin around and glide smoothly backwards on my skates like you see in the movies, I got twisted up and forced my tailbone into an unintended impact with the skating surface. For a couple days, I debated the purchase of one of those foam donuts to sit on at the office.
A couple years back, we had a slip-and-slide party in our backyard in the middle of the summer. After the kids had mainly cleared out, one of the grandparents decided to dive down the plastic sheeting. When the subsequent abdominal pain lasted a solid three days, he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with cracked ribs. If there was any humor in that situation, it happened when the grandparent was forced to tell the nurse the circumstances that led to the injury.
Of course, kids are resilient enough that we often don’t need to worry about them. In addition to the examples already cited, I’ve seen kids at parties engage in violent Nerf wars, zipline through forests, freefall into a ball pit from 15 feet, incorrectly dismount from giant inflatables, and fall headlong onto an oiled floor at the bowling alley while trying to roll a bowling ball. I’m sure that plenty of kids have been injured at parties; I just haven’t seen it happen. I, on the other hand, will need to make sure I stretch properly after standing up from this computer or I may not be able to move in the morning.