We've all been there: You've got your kid on one hip as you try to fill his sippy cup or slice up his banana when you decide to set him on the countertop for just a second ... you're standing a few inches away, what could happen? Gwen Stefani found out the answer to that question when her 2 1/2-year-old son Zuma broke his right arm in a tumble from a countertop on Thursday night. Zuma is okay, but the fall was scary enough for dad Gavin Rossdale to call it "horrific," and I get what he means. The scariest thing about these split-second accidents is that they usually happen when your kid is right in front of you.
A broken arm is bad enough, but can you imagine if Zuma's injury was even more serious? It's never worth it to put our child in a precarious position, no matter how briefly, even if we are standing right next to him. Kids can find ways to get hurt even when they're not teetering from a high surface or in some other obvious danger.
My favorite parenting parable on this subject comes from personal experience. It was one of those afternoons when I spent hours repeatedly warning my then-6-year-old daughter and her friends to stop jumping on the furniture before someone got hurt. I breathed a sigh of relief when they finally tired themselves out and sat down for dinner ... then my daughter, who was resting her chin in her hand at the table, somehow slipped and fell into her dinner plate, which cracked and left a gash in her chin that required 22 stitches. That's right, to recap, it wasn't the somersaulting off the couch all day that sent my daughter to the emergency room, it was the sitting quietly at the dinner table part that got her. And of course, I was sitting right next to her when it happened.
Makes you want to wrap your kid in bubble wrap, but we can't do that. At least we can keep them off countertops.
Has your kid ever gotten hurt when you least expected?
Image via schnaars/Flickr