On a particularly rowdy trip to our town’s farmers market two weeks ago, my boys were racing to the cornfield when my younger son fell and landed awkwardly on his outstretched arm. He cried briefly, but honestly, he didn’t seem that much more upset than any other toddler who takes a spill. Regardless, something told me to pack up the boys and head for home. He stopped screaming halfway home, but casually kept saying “This arm hurts, mama! Hurts…” Though there was not a mark on him, and absolutely zero swelling, I decided to risk looking like that crazy mom who brings a totally healthy kid to the ER and take him for an x-ray. Even the ER nurses were sure he was fine, but the doctor we saw, a mother of three young boys, decided to x-ray him anyway. Low and behold…a minor buckle fracture of his right radius!
We were sent on our way with a splint, as the ER didn’t have an orthopedist on their staff to do casts, and told to have a hard cast put on in the morning. We went the first thing in the morning, and my son didn’t even flinch as the orthopedist put on a hard, fiberglass cast. “Poor guy,” I thought, “stuck in a cast for three weeks.” You can imagine my shock when I went into his bedroom the next morning to find him holding his fiberglass cast and waving it over his head, proudly announcing “Got it off, mama! Yaaaay! Good job!” The on-call nurse at the orthopedic doctor’s office simply told us to just keep sticking it back on. Clearly, she had never met a two-year old. Sigh.
We were off to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and here’s is where I will share a big, important tip about young kids and injuries in Connecticut: always, always, always go to CCMC. The doctors and nurses were amazing, the hospital itself was bright, cheerful, and child-friendly, and everyone there really “gets” kids. They know how to explain things to weary parents, and they know how to stay one step ahead of a two-year old Houdini. We left with an adjustable, removable soft cast and some very strong tape, and things have been great ever since. I should add that the orthopedist we had previously seen was highly regarded, but having someone who specializes in pediatrics to handle a tiny two year old was a huge plus.
So parents, take a minute and plug the address for CCMC (or your local children’s hospital) into your GPS. If you find yourself with a free day, consider a dry run so you’ll be comfortable getting there quickly in case of an emergency. And always, above all, trust your instincts with your children. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t let a fear of looking silly keep you from getting it checked out! Chances are you’ll be happy you did, if for no other reason than peace of mind.