Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just a little nosebleed

Our third child is a victim of benign neglect.  It shows, I think...

She has suffered injuries the others somehow avoided.  On a tour de force around the dining room table a few months ago, she pulled an apparently tippy chair on top of herself, sustaining an obvious cheek bruise.  A few hours later (my wife had been out, of course, as all bad things happen while Dad's in charge), Beth noticed that Corinne's eyelid was bruised (and thoroughly grilled me to make sure that the lass's vision would not be affected).  A few days later, Beth also discovered that one of Corinne's top teeth also had an obvious chip in it.

The most recent injury - TODAY! - was a bloody nose.  Seeking a redux of her other facial trauma incident, Corinne played stunt double baby while cruising around the dining room table, slipping and hitting her nose and upper lip on the stretcher (the piece of wood between two chair legs) of one of those blasted dining room chairs.  This time, Beth was the parent-in-charge, but I heard the thunk.

"What happened," I called over, seeing the splatted baby on the ground and seeing the crying face but hearing no sound.  Not good.  "She fell," observed Beth.  However, the tone of Beth's voice ramped up to concerned with "Uh, hon - she's bleeding," but I was already hopping over, having seen the dark red blood dripping from her little nose.

I immediately tipped her head forward and pressed her nostrils together, holding them that way for about 5 minutes.  Not an easy job - as it turns out, toddlers really hate that sort of thing.  After 5 minutes, her nose had stopped bleeding, her fat lip had become obvious, and she was finally settling into my lap for a good 10 minutes of  "why did that happen to me," or maybe "why did you squish my nose, Daddy?"

I am filing this incident in the "easier said than done" folder.  I didn't like seeing my child bleed, but applying first aid knowledge to her was even more jarring.  Looking back, I can see myself squashing her nose, with her frantically shaking her head and trying to pull my hand off of her face with her tiny fingers.  I can see myself being very calm, which I've come to see is how I behave when I am confronted with serious illness in the office, but apparently happens when my kids are hurt, too.  It's also grounding to be on the non-advice-giving side of illness and injury.

Poor baby.  Good thing her coordination should improve quickly enough that our inept parenting won't lead to all of her toenails falling out...

But, for the record, stopping nosebleeds is best done by pinching nostrils together.  Many people call after-hours, unable to stop a nosebleed, but tell me they are pinching the nasal bridge/bony part of the nose.  Pinching the nostrils, and even applying simultaneous pressure to the area between the upper lip and the nasal septum, is far more effective.  Remember to do it for at least 5, if not 10 or even 20 minutes!