Monday, October 10, 2011

We can only control what we can control

This may be the toughest blog to title.  I know the one I came up with is cliche, but bear with me. 

Friday at the playground there was an incident.  A child, age two, collapsed and went into a seizure.  Another parent noticed what was happening across the playground and we all gathered with our kids.  I watched the FDNY roll up - a ladder company, one ambulance and one black and white. 

(I don't know why we still call them black and whites... they're just white... and the letters, NYPD are actually blue...  and they're now American made muscle cars, not the old played out Ford Crown Victoria... no... NYPD drives Dodge Chargers.   Yeah... bitchin.)

So, we gathered with our kids and watched as the ever so capable folks of the FDNY and FDNY Paramedics took care of this child.  Care is the operative word.  Watching a rather large fireman gather up the child, putting him on his side in the fetal position and covering him with a blanket, I was reminded of one of the things about being a fireman I would NOT enjoy:  trying to save a child and not succeeding.  There were several young women hovering with cell phones.  The toddler was at a day care center and it looked like the staff handled it all very well.  I'm sure they were on the phone with frantic parents, keeping them abreast of their child's situation.

One of the parents mentioned that the FDNY seemed to take a while, especially for a child.  He was amazed it took about 12 minutes for them to get there.  A mother, who is also a production manager for a theater, brought us back to reality.  "The day care lady was on the phone with 911 the entire time and I'm they were on top of it."

I have to admit I don't know how long it took, but I never noticed that anything was happening in the first place.  The first I noticed was when the parent pointed out that the FDNY had arrived. 

I walked over, following Turtle who was drawn to the firemen.  He ran/trotted/waddled/drunken ninja walked over toward the jungle gym.  He tripped.  He tapped his forehead against the metal post.  Hard.  He had a goose egg and cried a little.  But I couldn't help but be grateful that this little scrape was what we were dealing with, versus a(nother) trip to the emergency room.

The child was lifted carefully and put on a gurney.  The firemen raised a coat over him to shield him from the sun as the paramedics worked.  Into the ambulance they went and they were off to the hospital.  We went back to the business of play, parents chatting about what they would do in that situation. 

A little while later I scooped up Turtle, looking forward to a cup of joe at The Queens Kickshaw during his nap when I was confronted by something rather disturbing:  A parent, one who had just witnessed this rather traumatic event with another child across the playground, was wheeling her two children out of the park.  Her three year old, a rather shy and occasionally petulant boy, was seated and strapped into their little Maclaren stroller. 

Her nine month old daughter was seated on the sun shade. 

Yes.  You read it correctly, but if you think you didn't, I'll write it again.

Her nine month old daughter was seated on the sun shade. 

Nine months old.  Seated on the sun shade.  The flimsy piece of fabric held on by a piece of plastic that folds back.  Seated on it. 

All this worry about another child having a seizure - a medical condition that, while serious, is something we as parents have very little control over and then to put your own child in such a precarious position seemed insane.  Truly insane. 

Now, I'm not a crazy safety parent.  (See previous post on parent with helmet on child in tank-like swing.)  I'm raising a free range kid.  He can scrape his knees, fall down, bump his head on a metal post (ahem...), fall off the swing...  But I'm sure as heck not going to put him in a situation where he can hurt himself.  That's like setting him on top of the car and then just driving off because I loaded the car with cases of soda and cheese. 

BTW, if you aren't already, get CPR certified and certified in infant CPR.  We're going to.

No comments:

Post a Comment