Advice about Accidents

Archived Q&A and Reviews

  • Guilt over baby's fall down stairs

    Ice Packs

    From: Eleanor (10/98)

    In addition to Ginger's suggestion about frozen peas as ice packs, I would recommend keeping popsicles on hand. A toddler who falls and gets a fat lip will suck on a popcicle but will fight an ice cube.

    Cars & seat belt

    From: a Mom (10/98)

    rear middle seat belt:
    It's dangerous because it doesn't give, the way the other seat belts do. A few weeks ago I had dinner with a friend I hadn't seen in a number of years. Her 13-year-old son had recently spent 3 weeks in intensive care when his intestine was severed (!) in a car crash. He was coming back late at night from a church-sponsored outing with 4 other kids, all belted in, when the mother who was driving fell asleep at the wheel and ran off the road and hit a tree. The sudden jolt and force of the impact, combined with the snugness of the belt, drove his spine forward into his intestine, severing it completely. The other kids, and the mom, were shaken but OK. He is a small, skinny kid, more the size of an 8-year-old, than a 13-year-old so maybe his lack of body fat was a factor. Still, it's something to think about - I always thought that the middle rear seat in the back was the safest seat in the car, but the seatbelt isn't as good as the other belts in the car. Happily he recovered completely and is now doing fine.

    From: Roger (10/98)

    Re: rear middle seat-belt.
    The kid probably didn't have it tightened snuggly.

    This is very dangerous. These belts don't tighten themselves, but must be tightened by the wearer. Also many children put the belts too high up on ther belly, rather than low around the hips. If the belt is not low and snug, it can slip up onto the abdomen and cause considerable damage in an accident. It's still better than hitting the windshield, though.

    Tar Burns

    From: a Mom (10/98)

    1. wear pads & helmet with rollerblades
    2. use mayonnaise to get hot tar off

    My older son, who is usually pretty sensible, actually tried to skate across a still-hot just-paved road when he was 13. He pitched forward into the soft tar onto his palms and knees. Tar is like napalm - it sticks to your skin and continues burning until you get it off. You can't get it off with water or towels or fingers or anything else. But it does come off with mayonnaise. Luckily, my neighbor ran over when she heard the commotion and knew just what to do. She is an emergency room nurse at SF General and she told me later they keep a big jar of mayonnaise in ER for roofer burns. So we threw my son into a tub of cold water to stop the burn pain, while we scrubbed the asphalt off with mayo. Of course we followed up with a doctor visit - he had very bad burns, but I was so thankful for my neighbor's quick reaction and knowledge. Here's another hint: bags of frozen peas or corn make good icepacks for burns and other hurts!