All fall down
Starting the first year of school is a big change for little kids – and for parents! – and for many, it’s a steep learning curve.
When my Big Kid, who’s nearly 5, started kindy earlier this year, I had some fairly normal concerns: would she make friends? How would she adapt to the more structured environment? And how long would it be before I was treating a never-ending parade of head lice?
The last thing I was worried about was the state of her knees. Yet now I find myself checking them for new plasters every day when I pick her up from school.
You see, Big Kid is a very social and very active creature. She’s not used to sitting still for extended periods of time, as she’s now expected to do in the classroom, and so perhaps it’s all that pent-up energy that’s sending her running around – and around and around – all recess and lunchtime. She is also, according to her, chasing the boys, who have collectively become Public Enemy Number One.
As a little kid who’s full of energy and doesn’t look where she’s going (she’s 4, after all), her injury rate is pretty high. She’s a frequent flyer at the sickbay and she comes home with scratches and scrapes up her legs, and scabs drying under flimsy plasters that drift off in the bath. (Let’s not even start on the yuck factor of plasters floating off into the bathwater – I’m squeamish at the best of times.)
After she came home with her right kneecap completely covered in a row of three plasters, we decided it was time to bring out something a bit more heavy-duty.
In the 70s, it may have been the done thing to let wounds dry out and scabs form; these days we know that it’s best not to leave them uncovered.
For one thing, kids aren’t the cleanest of creatures (mine sure aren’t) and allowing dirt, mud and mucky water from jumping in puddles into healing wounds is something to be avoided.
Secondly, active little kids who fall over a lot tend to come home with the same cuts and abrasions each day. Next time Big Kid falls over on the asphalt, she’s going to be falling on an already pretty impressive collection of knee scrapes.
I’d much rather there be a heavy-duty fabric plaster protecting those sensitive sore knees from further injury (short of equipping her with my old rollerblading kneepads, anyway).
A plaster like the new Heavy Fabric Waterproof Plaster with Strong Adhesion (RRP $3.78 for 16, or $4.58 for 15 assorted pieces; there’s also large strips at $6.44 for 8 pieces, which may be useful for some of Big Kid’s larger injuries) is just the sort of thing I’m after.
Between Elastoplast and some gentle encouragement to slow down and actually look where she’s going, hopefully we’ll get to a stage soon where her knees are once again in one piece each. And if not, I guess there’s always the kneepads.
by Megan Haggan