Parents everywhere are covering their mouths in shock as they view the x-ray picture of a pencil that was lodged in toddler Olivia Smith's brain. What parent hasn't thought about how horrific it would be if their adorable little one fell while holding some kind of sharp object, such as a pen or pencil. For one family, this nightmare became a reality.
The Huffington Post reported that 19-month-old toddler, Olivia Smith, had a colored pencil lodged in her brain. She is expected to make a full recovery after she fell off a reclining chair onto the end of a colored pencil that pierced her eye. KTLA 5 reported that it took a team of 50 doctors to remove the pencil and Olivia suffered three strokes during the ordeal.
This is not the first time that a horrible accident like this has occurred. On January 6th, 2010 Fox News reported that 14-month-old, Li Jingchao, had been playing when he fell over, impaling himself on the chopstick, which then lodged itself inside his skull. He made a full recovery. Father Li Guanglai stated "I never thought it would be this successful. This hospital gave him a second life."
As a parent of a toddler, you have probably already taken all the childproofing precautions you can. But, as you probably already know, injuries big and small, are going to happen once in a while. You will not be able to prevent them all, but you can prepare for them. Preparation can make all the difference in these kind of situations. "What to expect the second year" (Murkoff & Mazel, 2011) identifies what you can do to further prepare for emergencies. These include:
- Discuss with your toddler's doctor what the best course of action would be in the event of a non-life-threatening injury as well as a serious emergency. When to call the doctor's office, when to go to the emergency room, when to call 911, and when to follow some other protocol.
- Always keep emergency phone numbers easy accessible for you and anyone who cares for your child.
- Know the quickest route to the ER or other emergency medical facility your child's doctor recommends.
- Learn/practice how to respond calmly. Take a few deep breaths and continue to focus on the matter at hand.