Bouncing baby boy by Ian Waite

[advert:mpu]As I mentioned in my last blog he isn't exactly the subtlest of creatures and he flings himself from one support to another like a flying squirrel in the Amazonian tree tops. Unfortunately he often falls short and ends up using nature's safety net of 'parquet flooring'.

Head injuries are nothing to be sniffed at, and as a parent I am obviously concerned at any damage he does to himself (even if he doesn't seem too concerned). My other half has a tendency to over-react slightly whenever one of our kids uses the floor as a trampoline, so the call as to whether something requires a trip to A&E tends to be down to me. This can be a nerve wracking and scary responsibility as you don't want to dismiss something that could be potentially serious but at the same time you don't want to be an NHS draining, neurotic parent who spends half their life sitting on broken plastic chairs in hospital waiting rooms, only to be told that all their child needs is some Savlon and a 'Mr Bump' plaster.

On Saturday the following, now common scenario occured ; "Emergency, emergency" shouted my eldest as he ran into the kitchen, "Rocco has fallen on his head and I think it almost killed him". Once I had calmed my (now very pale) partner down, she could in turn calm down the baby and it was obvious things were not quite as bad as first reported. It seems my partner is not the only member of our family who is prone to over-react. My youngest had merely tripped over a cushion and bumped his head slightly.

With our first child I have a feeling we all had a tendency to over-react a little but we are subsequently (a little) more relaxed with our second, as we now understand that falling on one's head is merely a right of passage.

 If my partner has a tendency to panic, then I could be accused of being a little complacent. I tend to have a 'Well he won't try to climb on the ironing board again in a hurry" type of attitude. I also tend to be proven wrong as ten minutes after I have calmed both him and my partner down (and stopped the latter calling an ambulance) he will be back doing exactly that.

I now try to assess accidents in an objective and clinical way and judge things using two criteria. The first is the forces involved (I have a D in A level physics you know) and the second is how the child is behaving once the shock has worn off. For example if he falls from standing onto the floor I am not too concerned, but if he falls down the stairs (not happened yet) then I would be worried.

If ten seconds after they stopped crying they are laughing and trying to repeat whatever antic it was that caused the accident, then again this is a good sign. My youngest does this a lot and doesn't seem to have the concept yet of learning from his mistakes. The tears will be barely dry before he is off again, leaping on the furniture or trying to climb out the window. The good news is that he is having his passport photo taken this week so the cut above his eye (from head butting a brick) will be preserved for posterity.

It really is a tough balancing act between being overprotective and being neglectful, but as long as you can keep that balance then it won't matter too much that they can't keep theirs.

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