Parenting

My son was injured on a field trip!

Jennifer shares one of a parent's worst fear — their child being seriously injured on a class trip.

Deciding to volunteer on my son’s end-of-year trip to a local park was a last minute decision. The grade one teacher needed extra parent supervisors to help corral 30 rambunctious six- and seven-year-olds, preferring smaller groups of students with each adult supervisor to help make the field trip safer for the children. I adore the teacher and all of the students, and although I had a mountain of housework and part-time paying work to do, I offered to help. Am I ever glad I did.

The morning at the park, where there is also a small zoo, playground, train and splash pad were perfect. The children in my group were wonderfully behaved, transitioning from activity to activity happily, sharing their snacks and without even complaining when I kept applying sunscreen on them. If there ever was a picture-perfect field trip, this was it.

That is, until my son was seriously injured — right in front of me.

Like Isaac had probably hundreds of times before, he climbed up the stairs of his favourite play structure at the park and jumped down the twisty red plastic slide. But unlike the times before, he landed awkwardly on his right hand, screaming in pain. Rushing to the bottom of the slide, I scooped him up and saw his pinky finger had already swelled to double its usual size and was turning an ugly shade of purple. Not to mention that it flopped whenever his arm moved and he wasn’t able to move it at all. My first-aid training (plus a few tendon injuries myself) told me this was bad news.

I quickly transferred the other students I was caring for to Isaac’s teacher, and my husband and I made the decision to take him to the town’s hospital Emergency Room to rule out anything serious. The rest of the afternoon was a blur of doctors and X-rays and nurses, most of which our son bravely and tearfully endured. But the biggest shock of all was the ER doctor showing me the X-ray results — our son had fractured his finger and needed to see a specialist.

That all happened seven days ago, with me since that time pestering doctors, specialists and patient relations to speed up the process to determine what is exactly wrong with his hand, how it needs to be fixed, and who is the best doctor to fix it. Today we finally go in for a surgical consult. I’m hopeful that his hand will heal on its own — but my heart aches for my active boy who can’t ride his beloved bike or draw detailed pictures because his tiny hand is splinted. That said, nothing seems to be slowing him down — he was determined to attend the last day of school today.

Yes, seeing my son get hurt on what should have been the most fun day of school was terrible. And for all of my complaints about being a stay-at-home mom, I am endlessly thankful that I was the one there to wipe away his tears and be the one that he hugged when he was in pain.

Has that happened to you? Tweet me your experiences @jenpinarski