Vacationing in the emergency room

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Places To Go, Health & Safety: Babies

Just once, I'd like to go on vacation without visiting the local emergency room.

Well, okay, that's not entirely accurate; we did go to Calistoga and Yosemite last year without any significant injuries. Before that, however, we were in the ER at Lake Tahoe when Jared came down with a bad case of strep throat while we were on holiday there. Now we've been to the first aid station in Disneyland and the nearby hospital emergency room as well.

On Thursday, Rachel and Sara were wandering around Main Street in Disneyland while I was with Jared. They were coming to meet us, and Sara was excited. She basically dragged Rachel up the stairs to get to us. At the top, however, she burst into tears for no apparent reason and said her arm hurt. Rachel calmed her down and she seemed fine.

We all walked together to Town Square at the foot of Main Street to see Donald Duck and get his autograph. When it was our turn, Sara wanted nothing to do with it, clinging instead to Rachel and saying her elbow hurt. We thought it was probably nothing more than a case of being overly tired, but in the interest of prudence decided to have someone look at it.

We went to the first aid station (back at the other end of Main Street, of course) where an R.N. looked at it and said it was probably a case of Nursemaid's elbow. She put it in a sling with an ice pack and directed us to the nearest emergency room. Nursemaid's elbow is a condition where a child's elbow gets dislocated -- pulled out of its socket, basically. Nursemaid's elbow is generally caused by yanking on a kid's arm or when swinging a child by the arms. It can also happen, we've proved, by a kid yanking on the adult's arm. It's fairly common; the nurse said she sees it once or twice a month at Disneyland. The treatment is to rotate the arm to get it back in place (but don't try that yourself unless you know what you're doing.) She wanted us to see a doctor and get an X-Ray just to be safe.

The problem was that we were at Disneyland, our car was at the hotel, and the E.R. was too far to walk to. Jared and I ended up taking a taxi back to the hotel (we, naturally, didn't have the kids' car seats with us -- Jared was risky, taking Sara would have been right out) to get the Land Rover. We then went back to Disneyland to pick up Rachel and Sara and headed on to the hospital.

Rachel took Sara in to see the doctor; Jared and I had to wait outside because there were a whole bunch of cops hanging around while a suspect was being treated. I saw a number of officers wearing pretty serious gear -- including a handgun holster I really like, but hope never to have a need for. Who knew that Anaheim, home of Disneyland and the Candy Cane Motel, was such a hotbed of combat activity?

Sara saw the triage nurse, got her arm X-ray'ed, and saw the doctor. By the time the doctor got to her, however, her arm had reset itself. The doctor showed Rachel how to fix it herself in case it happens again -- apparently once it happens, it's likely to happen again. Hopefully it won't happen, but if it does, we know what it is and what to do about it. I just wish we hadn't learned all this when we were supposed to be enjoying Disneyland!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.