What does a hematoma, a busted lip, a scratched out cheek, and bruised forehead have in common? A toddler! I am not talking about an angry toddler, but rather a happy, sweet and active toddler who has no concept of what he is doing when he is playing. In this example, the victim is me and the toddler is my cute little munchkin.
When I gave birth to my son, I read a lot about raising a child. I read numerous articles about feeding, bathing, sleeping issues, learning to walk and talk—you name it. What I did not learn in all of this reading is that when those cute little babies turn into toddlers they can pose a health hazard—to you! I’m not talking about exhaustion or sleep deprivation—which I already talked about in a previous post—but rather a hazard to your physical health. Toddlers, I’ve learned, can unknowingly hurt you when they are carelessly playing with you or when they just suddenly make a jerky move. There is not a lot written out there about this common stage so I will tell you my experience with it.
In my case, I have a very happy and playful two year old. I play around with him a lot physically—tickling him, carrying him, pulling him—because that is how he likes to play. He is a boy so he is much more of a physical player. When we play like this, he tends to get super excited and carried away—all while laughing out loud. But all of this playing has at times come with some pain.
In the past year, my son has left me with a hematoma on my left eyebrow from head butting me, a bruised forehead from slamming a wooden puzzle on my face, a few swollen and busted upper lips from hitting me with a toy and a swollen cheek from digging his nails into it. Most recently, I stopped him short of hitting my neck and knocking the wind out of me. I was so stunned about what may have happened that I told my husband…in shock that I had just prevented a serious injury. Nothing happened, and I can laugh at that now, but I know that I need to keep one eye open always with my munchkin.
I recently read an article from Bored Panda that hilariously illustrates the various toddler “weapons” and how those weapons can hurt parents. Thinking back about it, it is quite funny and it is a relief to know that I am not alone!