Help your child relax after a minor boo boo

I burned my finger this morning trying to get a pastry out of the toaster.

I’m pretty sure it’s blistered, and it hurt like the dickens!

Here’s how I fix these kinds of boo-boos in my house, and they work just as good for the little’uns as the big’uns.

As soon as I realized I did it, I got that finger under running water in the sink. Maybe 2 seconds after. I took another couple seconds to realize the faucet wasn’t shifted all the way to the cold side, so then I did that with my other hand.

The water wasn’t getting cold enough to stop the burning sensation, so I filled a glass with cold water with my right hand, keeping my left hand with the burned finger still under the water.

Then I put my finger into the glass and carried it to the fridge where I grabbed some ice and put that into the glass. Then I got sweet relief! For the next 30 minutes, I just sat down and kept my burned finger in the glass, and whenever I needed to, I swirled it to up the cooling sensation. Note, I didn’t “ice” my finger, as that is too much cold. I used the ice to create cold pockets of water in the glass that I could swirl my finger in.

This works great for the wee ones who can’t stand having their burned finger held in the stream, which is more painful. Next, I took a few minutes to do something I like –pinterest! Great distraction to take my focus off the pain while I was sitting for my 30 minutes. For a child, this might be a good time to put on a favorite cartoon and snuggle with momma, or read a favorite book together. Just keep that sore finger in the cool water.

As the pain subsided, I took a few minutes to think about what actually happened and the thoughts that went through my mind as I was getting the pastry and right up to the point of getting burned. I kept swirling my finger in the cold water in the glass, and then I took a nice deep breath and held it for a second, then really slowly let it exhale.

That’s what triggered my relaxation and started to help the pain really go down! Just going back into the moments before and then doing the deep breathing and slow exhale helped me release the stuck, “Oh I’m hurt!” feelings.

With kids, you can practice having them do it by making the S sound, pretending to be Sammy the Ssssssnake, or Susie the Ssssssssssnake. Put the teeth together and really slowing the exhale helps to calm the body and kick in the relaxation system, (the parasympathetic nervous system) instead of staying stuck in the active, fight/flight/freeze response to getting burned (the sympathetic nervous system).

Once the slowed exhale has helped calm things down, and the helpful distraction takes the mind off the burn, the stinging starts to go away pretty fast, until you take the finger out of the cool water. But once it starts up, you can do the slow breathing again and it will fade out.

The last thing I did, was to get over my fear of using my finger. Guess how I did that?

I got on my keyboard and started typing up this post. 🙂  Yes, it hurt to use that finger for about 30 seconds, but then I got into what I was doing and forgot all about it. And that is what I have the kiddoes do too. We get the legos, or the barbies, the cars or whatever they really love to play with that requires finger dexterity.

The goal is to get them over the hump of not wanting to use that finger normally. It takes a few seconds, but once they get into the enjoyment of playing, especially when momma takes a greater than usual interest, it quickly appears that they can use the finger as if it never happened.

Now that I’ve explained how I handle the basics for minor injuries in my home, I need to say that if you or your child experiences a burn, you will want to seek qualified first aid. My story is provided for your information and education only, and I do not intend it to be used as medical advice, nor it is my intention to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition. Please, if you need medical attention, seek out the services of a qualified professional.

I also encourage you to become proficient in first aid yourself. Check with your local fire department to see who offers courses in your area.

I share my story in the hopes of helping share ideas to comfort and bring peace and relaxation to a person in need so they can feel better faster.



PS. My finger completely stopped hurting before I started typing, started again, and then stopped before I published this post!


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