Author Topic: Accidental injuries, adult on child  (Read 6472 times)

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SPuck

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Accidental injuries, adult on child
« on: September 18, 2012, 12:21:18 PM »
I was wondering (after reading the biting thread) what is the best way to respond when an adult accidentally hurts a child? Whether its from pure chance like accidentally elbowing some child because there head is at that level as you walk by, or if the child did something deliberate and the adult responded to quickly. Like smacking away a child who bites because you did not see it coming, or if your in a rocking chair and for no better reason than playing chicken a child is behind you and keeps putting their foot where the chair comes down.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 12:31:12 PM »
I think the best response is the same whether the injured party is a child or an adult -- a sincere apology and an explanation of what happened (if that will help the situation.)

snowdragon

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 12:35:16 PM »
"Are you Ok" is the first thing I would ask. For the fist I would say I am sorry.  For the second I would leave it at making sure the child was not seriously harmed,,,but I would never apologize for a reflex reaction to having a child deliberately harm me...that sends the wrong message. The rocking chair one I am torn on...the kid did it to himself, but I really would feel like I should have noticed a kid putting his foot under me.
   

SPuck

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 12:39:12 PM »
I was thinking more along the lines of what demeanor you should have. When your an adult your not going to go into hugs and kisses mode, you want to be calm and collected. Potentially aggravating the situation with hyper focus on an injury could be worse. To a child an injury might seem worse than it actually is because of the way the adults around them are acting.

bah12

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 12:46:20 PM »
I was thinking more along the lines of what demeanor you should have. When your an adult your not going to go into hugs and kisses mode, you want to be calm and collected. Potentially aggravating the situation with hyper focus on an injury could be worse. To a child an injury might seem worse than it actually is because of the way the adults around them are acting.

But this is the case even if the adult didn't accidently hurt the child.  I often have to try not to overreact when DD falls or scrapes a knee or whatever, so that she doesn't overreact.

That being said, the adult is the adult.  Accident's happen.  And even when it's the child's fault, I think that the adult can offer a sincere apology for the child being hurt  (I'm still sorry they were hurt...same with adults). At the same time use it as a learning point for the child to be more aware of his/her surroundings and that getting injured is one of the consequences of not being careful.

But this also depends on the severety of injury.  In some cases, the adult just has to react because the child's injury needs immediate attention.  It does not good to go into "I told you so" mode when the child really is in deep pain, or needs medical attention.  So, first, assess the injury and then when you know that the child is ok and calm, gently explain why the accident happened and what they can do to avoid accidents like this in the future.

*new*mommyagain36

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 01:22:50 PM »
In 1996 while at work,  I was coming out of a bathroom and the door knob hit a child standing outside the door.  This was not a public bathroom, it was an employees only bathroom and I have no idea to this day why the child was standing there. (It is not marked 'bathroom').  I apologized to child, asked if she was ok and called her Mom to report the accident.  The Mother was livid but didn't really say much to me other than "ok." when I explained what happened.
About a month later my superviser told me that this Mom tried to hire a lawyer and sue both me and my employer but, she was told she had no case and "accidents happen" < all that is second hand information but as no lawsuit ever surfaced I guess it was true.
That being said, I think a sincere apology is the way to go, knowing that the child or their parent may not accept it but that is really on them.
As for smacking away a biter, I feel like a firm "no, you may not bite me" afterwards may work here.
I work in public health and work directly with children of all ages.  Remaining calm and professional really goes a long way to change the tone of the situation.  I have had children come to me near hysteria with a minor injury and usually by talking calmly, reassuring the child that you are here to help them, staying calm, really does help.
"Oh people can come up with statistics to prove anything.  14% of people know that" - Homer Simpson

Pippen

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 04:19:47 PM »
In 1996 while at work,  I was coming out of a bathroom and the door knob hit a child standing outside the door.  This was not a public bathroom, it was an employees only bathroom and I have no idea to this day why the child was standing there. (It is not marked 'bathroom').  I apologized to child, asked if she was ok and called her Mom to report the accident.  The Mother was livid but didn't really say much to me other than "ok." when I explained what happened.
About a month later my superviser told me that this Mom tried to hire a lawyer and sue both me and my employer but, she was told she had no case and "accidents happen" < all that is second hand information but as no lawsuit ever surfaced I guess it was true.
That being said, I think a sincere apology is the way to go, knowing that the child or their parent may not accept it but that is really on them.
As for smacking away a biter, I feel like a firm "no, you may not bite me" afterwards may work here.
I work in public health and work directly with children of all ages.  Remaining calm and professional really goes a long way to change the tone of the situation.  I have had children come to me near hysteria with a minor injury and usually by talking calmly, reassuring the child that you are here to help them, staying calm, really does help.

She was going to sue you for opening a door?

*new*mommyagain36

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 12:31:43 PM »
I guess so.  My supervisor shared with me that the Mom had contacted a lawyer but was told that she didn't have a case, or it would be a frivolous case?  Something like that.  Either way nothing ever came of it. 
For what it's worth, a parent once threaten my employer with a lawsuit because her 4 children had head lice.
"Oh people can come up with statistics to prove anything.  14% of people know that" - Homer Simpson

siamesecat2965

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 02:33:24 PM »
I guess so.  My supervisor shared with me that the Mom had contacted a lawyer but was told that she didn't have a case, or it would be a frivolous case?  Something like that.  Either way nothing ever came of it. 
For what it's worth, a parent once threaten my employer with a lawsuit because her 4 children had head lice.

Amazing,  but not surprising.  I'm just happy the lawyer had enough sense to decline to take that case.  I suspect there are some that would try.

Allyson

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2012, 10:16:31 PM »
Make sure the injury isn't severe, and apologise. Accidents happen, and I'm not going to go into paroxysms of guilt about one happening. 

AngelicGamer

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2012, 02:05:19 AM »
Make sure the injury isn't severe, and apologise. Accidents happen, and I'm not going to go into paroxysms of guilt about one happening.

POD.  Says the person who has accidents a lot of the time because I can't see adult sized people (whee legally blind).  I take the greatest care I can but kids (and adults!) dart about and it is not my fault if the following happens:

1) I scan (look about for people / objects), see I'm not about to hit anyone or anything, and move forward to get to my goal.
2) A kid (or adult because they've done this too) sees an opening to get to something faster than I can.
3) We collide in some way.

That said...I have elbowed a kid in the face because I moved my arm and didn't see the kid.  :(  It was before I was diagnosed and I thought that I was this big giant klutz.  I felt really bad for the kid as I know that hurts (Dad did the same to me when I was a kid - vision problems run in the family).  The mom of the kid was amazing.  She looked to see if he was bleeding / if anything felt broken, heard my apology to the kid, made the kid apologize for not taking care with his personal space, and that was that. 

Then again, I live in an area with a very low special snowflake population.  Or, if they're special snowflakes, it's such a small flake that I don't notice it.




"Life's tough, huh?  And then you die." ~ Buck, the Magnificent Seven.

Brockwest

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2012, 08:08:06 AM »
If you accidentally hurt a child, I think two things would be advisable.
1) Give a sincere apology to the child even if the child was at fault.
2) Notify the child's parent. That way, your version of the story gets told first rather than a child's version. It can help prevent misunderstandings and you can clear the air immediately.

ncmom22

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2012, 12:48:51 PM »
I would apologize and make sure the child is okay.  Accidents happen and especially with kids.  I can't tell you how many times I ended up apologizing to the adult when my sons accidentally got underfoot. 

Firecat

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2012, 04:15:03 PM »
I think an apology is good, and making sure the kid is ok. I saw one that I thought was handled well.

Basically, at a local science fiction convention, there was a guy in a very cool, but bulky, costume. He was going down the escalator, and this little girl (maybe 5 or so?) got too close behind him, even after her parents warned her not to. He lost some balance and started to fall backwards, and the woman behind him and the little girl managed to hold his weight off the girl with her legs, and someone else stopped the escalator.

So the girl wasn't hurt, except maybe a small scratch or two, but she was upset and crying. And her parents were comforting her, but also telling her "we told you not to stand so close to him." They didn't blame the guy in the costume at all (he did apologize, though).

Jocelyn

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Re: Accidental injuries, adult on child
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2012, 12:43:16 AM »
I was once playing tag with a group of children under my supervision. I don't remember exactly HOW it happened, but one of the little boys and I collided. He fell, I stumbled, and his hand and my foot ended up landing in the same spot in that order. I immediately apologized, and went to seek medical care. To everyone's surprise, when he was asked who he wanted to accompany him to the ER, he chose me because, 'I know you didn't mean to step on me.' Fortunately, no bones were broken. His father was OK with it- he was of the opinion that accidents happen. I wonder if the boy even remembers it...or me...