Broken Wings: Lessons Learned

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dilbertLast August, my daughter fell off of a kitchen chair and broke her collar bone. I knew that she was injured, but decided that it was urgent but not critical that she receive medical care.

I quickly called the local emergency room and was told that we could bring her there, but that anything serious would require a transfer to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. I hung up and decided to take her to CHOA myself.

I had no idea where Children’s Healthcare was. I knew there was a location near Northside Hospital and there was another location near Emory Hospital. Were those my only choices? A quick review of the hospital’s website told me that the closest location was Children’s Healthcare at Hughes Spalding near Grady Hospital. A check with Google maps told me I could be there in 30 minutes.

She and I jumped in the car and were there in 23 minutes. I may or may not have exceeded the speed limit.

Now, I have the address and phone number for the hospital in my cell phone. If necessary, I can quickly access it and be on my way. But it would have been really helpful if I’d gotten my information together BEFORE I needed it.

This month’s challenge is all about making plans. What would you do if your child were hurt? Who would you call? Do you know if your dentist has emergency hours?

Another consideration is talking to children about preparation. Talking about disasters can be scary to children and for people who may have difficulty coping with daily life. Be open and positive. The unknown causes more anxiety than knowing facts. Listen to your child, learn how they feel and what they may be afraid of. Sesame Street has great resources for helping get your kids on board.

One thing to remember: Your plan does NOT have to be perfect. ANY preparation is better than NO preparation. Do not allow fear of making a mistake, stop you from thinking through these situations.