Mixed content ahead. A passage periodically goes around Facebook with something like, “I survived riding in the back of a pick-up truck, no bicycle helmet, playgrounds without rubber mats,” and several other instances of things kids raised in the 50s did as routine. My brother and three male cousins didn’t exactly have reserved spots in the Emergency Room, but they were frequent visitors. I’m not saying times haven’t changed and there aren’t some very real dangers out there we didn’t face as kids. On the other hand, ordinary kid activities do sometimes come with the risk of accidents that will range from the “band-aid and kiss” solution to the trip to the ER.
Son was not quite seven years old when that call came as he was in Maine with his grandparents. They had installed a swing set in the yard and as happens, using the swing set as it is intended apparently wasn’t quite adventurous enough one afternoon. Why not instead climb out to grasp the top rail and swing back and forth like an acrobat? The break wasn’t too bad; actually a chipped elbow. That was in the day of plaster casts and at least it was his left arm. No complications either. (Of the later trips to the ER, three were far more serious, although none the result of an accident.)
Active kids are likely at some point to get hurt and medical emergencies do occur. In truth, I can’t recall if the lingering scar on my sister’s forehead had been the result of stitches or if that was a case where maybe stitches should have been required. For sure, the cut on one of my fingers was a borderline situation, but neither of us were anywhere nearly as accident-prone as my brother. Anyway, granddaughter is proving to be a bit on the daring side. It is possible all will go without incident. The day may come though when the call is, “Hey Grandma and Grandpa, my arm is in a cast.”