It’s an upsetting matter when your own child gets injured. However, when your child’s friend is injured while he is under your care, it is a whole new ballgame.
Caring for the Injury
When a child not your own is injured, always treat him how you would want your own child to be treated should the same incident occur at someone else’s house. Comfort the child if he is showing distress and reassure him that you are going to help him feel better. Show as much care as you can.
If the injury is serious, do not hesitate to call emergency services or take the child to the emergency room yourself. If you are hesitant about whether you should take the child to an emergency room, contact the parents or another guardian. If you do not have a way to reach someone with guardianship over the child, err on the side of caution and take him to a health care facility right away.
When the initial injury occurs, it will be shocking, and you may feel like you don’t know what to do. After all, this is not your child. What you might do for your own child and what you should do for this one may seem different at the time, but it shouldn’t be.
Contacting the Parents
In an emergency situation, it will be best to act first to take care of the child and then contact the parents when the events have died down. Always be sure to call the child’s parents as soon as possible.
When you speak with the parents, be honest about the situation. Give them as much detail as you can, including what happened, what you did to remedy the situation, and the state of their child at that moment. Understand that they may panic and become distressed or angry. This is not a personal attack though, but a common knee-jerk reaction.
Before someone else’s child is left in your care, always make sure that you have the appropriate medical and contact information, including:
- Current and past medications or medical conditions
- Doctor name and number
- Parent phone numbers
- Other guardian contact information
When the child is injured, do not immediately blame her for the injury. Always take the appropriate amount of responsibility for the incident. If the child was injured by slipping, falling, or another simple accident, then the injury was not entirely your fault. However, if the injury occurred from falling into an open pool, a dog bite, or another form of negligence, you should take responsibility.
If the injury was a “freak accident,” your home owner’s insurance will likely cover most or all of the medical charges. If you feel comfortable with it, let the parents know that you are willing to take financial responsibility in this way.
When a child is injured under your watch, it can be traumatizing for all parties involved. It is important at this time to keep an open channel of communication.
Talk about what happened with your child so that she can understand that actions have consequences. Discuss the incident with the parents of the injured child and work to reassure them that they can still trust you. As much as you can, try to keep financial and legal issues separate from your friendship.
Don’t let a child’s injury hold you back from hosting your child’s friends at your house. Let this experience be one you can learn from. Be aware of what additional safety precautions you can take around your home to protect your children and their friends. Parenting is about constantly learning and adjusting as your children grow and do the same.
Theo Schmidt has an interest in computer science and engineering, and he uses that interest to fuel his blogging. Theo also enjoys spending time in the outdoors, and he is passionate about protecting the environment.
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The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.