Thursday, June 25, 2009

1st Trip to the ER

A day at the pool ended up at the hospital, but not in a way one might think.

After doing the things that you do with a toddler at a pool, we sat down in the concessions area to eat our snack.

Slight tangent: I am appalled at the number of Moms who feel it's okay to disregard not only signs, but public health and cleanliness by allowing their kids to eat and drink by the water, not in the eating area! I saw torn up string cheese under one chair with the wrapper next to it, and others eating bags of food. Hopefully, these kids will become more socially conscious than their mothers.

Back to the snack. So our social consciousness backfired. After getting his fill, JD started playing with his cousin, running and jumping around. Part of the picnic area is the housing for the pool's mechanicals. It is an elevated cement platform that is roughly 18 inches tall, 6 feet wide, and 15 feet long. JD and his cousin climbed on it and were jumping around. Harmless.

JD was not wearing shoes and his cousin was. Cousin jumped on what looked like a metal grate and JD followed suit. As soon as JD jumped on it, he let out a scream. I thought he was scared but my wife felt his pain.

It was not a grate, but a metal plate that is the door to the pump or one of the pumps. It is flat with some dimples and faces directly upward so that it has 100% sun exposure. After JD went on my wife, I felt it and sure enough, it was super hot, probably a couple hundred degrees.

My wife went to run water on his feet, but he was screaming and screaming. I saw him a few minutes later and his left foot had already blistered and popped so that the underlayer was exposed. Time to go to the hospital.

We ended up in an ambulance which I thought was overkill at the time but probably made sense, as it would not have been easy to drive rationally with a screaming child in the back, though I'm sure I could have done it.

We were at the hospital for a couple of hours. They were all nice and, of course, sympathetic to this little boy in so much pain. I don't think I'd ever held him for so long and he never felt heavy.

The hard part was holding him when they examined and dressed the wounds. He's got tree-trunk legs and it took all of my strength to hold him steady while not hurting him.

To sum up his injuries, he has 2nd degree burns on his left foot, 1st degree burns on his right foot and right hand (he sat down and probably put his hand down briefly when he jumped on the plate.)

Worst of all is trying to keep him off of his feet. Imagine yourself not being able to put pressure on the bottoms of your feet. Now try doing that with a 2-year-old.

The good news is that he is not in visible pain. That is, with the help of Tylenol-2. I'll try to update; we have a trip to the Loyola burn center tomorrow. What a fun outing!

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