Accidents happen - kids can't live in a bubble

by Rebecca Jolly

Where did my thumb go?

The dog didn't bight it off, nor did a shark..........

Dylan (3) has learned to understand that an accident at the footy club dinner resulted in a permanent (non life threatening) injury.

His Mum Rebecca tells the tale every parent fears, yet we all know that accidents do happen and you can't let your kids live life - trapped in a bubble.

I always wonder how much space do you give your kids? Should you always have them at arms length and put them in that imaginary "bubble" so nothing happens to them. But just like Dory says in Finding Nemo if you don't let anything happen to them then nothing will happen to them. This is one thing that I stress about all the time.

When my son was two and a half (he is 3 now) we were at my husband’s football club, training night. I was cooking the meals for the team as I usually do and my 2 children were playing around the club.

Someone came over to me and said Dylan's crying in the change rooms. I thought oh well they've told him to get out and he got upset. As I walked in the trainer removed the towel from his hand and blood squirted out. All I remember seeing is his thumb was gone, it was like a horror movie. My husband was standing there naked as he had been in the shower. I think I either nearly fainted or was sick but quickly thought 'don't let him see me upset' he needed to be calmed down and my crying wouldn't help. I just cuddled him while they called an ambulance and compressed his hand.

No-one knew at first where it happened or where to look for his fingers (as it was 2 fingers and a thumb) I yelled at them to go to the exercise bike. A couple of them came back and had found the tips of his fingers on the ground next to the bike and his thumb was still in the cogs. The ambulance arrived and took us to the Royal Children's Hospital where he was operated on. They grafted his 2 fingers but unfortunately couldn't save his thumb left with only half.

As no adult saw it happen we had to firstly guess what happened and then my 4 year daughter who thought she was in trouble told me that she was riding the bike. She had the most terrified look on her face and I had to make sure my husband comforted her and explain it wasn't her fault and that it was an accident.

Since that day I constantly ask myself, was it my fault, should I have been watching them more. I have decided that it only took seconds for that to happen and even if I was in the room unless I was standing beside him I don't think I could have stopped it.

" His father says that he will have a good way to attract the girls in the future by telling them a shark bit it off! "

Dylan now has gotten used to his hand and only has minor troubles picking things up with that hand. He is such a trooper and everyone around the club loves him to death and I now have 100 pairs of eyes constantly watching my children. I think it was a wake up call for everyone there that night and they look out for all the kids.

My 'bubble' has expanded back out to a good size now, although it took awhile. I try not to stress too much but whenever I think of that night I still get a sickening feeling in my stomach.

That saying of 'kids will be kids' is so true and no matter how much you try to protect them things will happen. Seeing Dylan recover from that incident just showed me how tough and resilient they are. He now says that it happened at footy rather than his previous statement that our dog Bailey did it. His father says that he will have a good way to attract the girls in the future by telling them a shark bit it off! Kids may be kids but men will never change!