This week I was in Toronto for a couple of days for work and the day I was scheduled to fly home my flight was delayed slightly due to our first significant snowfall in Ottawa. The de-icing operations in Ottawa meant that our plane was late landing in Toronto so we were late taking off for Ottawa. I was a little disgruntled about getting home later than planned, but glad to land safely and still be able to make it home before the girls went to bed. I had just exited the plane and was awaiting my gate-checked bag when Laura called to see if I was in the cab home yet. I could hear a screaming kid in the background and thought she was maybe coming to pick me up and was calling to tell me not to get into a cab. It turned out that was not the case.
Laura was calling to tell me that she had cut her hand badly and thought she might need stitches. Our older daughters had stepped up to the plate and were helping out and Laura had called a friend of ours who was on her way over to help. I provided my limited medical advice stemming from my two decade old lifeguarding training. My trip home from the airport took a little longer than usual due to the snowy roads, but I was able to make it home in 30 minutes or so. When I got home our friend took Laura to the hospital where she received a few stitches to put her hand back together. I stayed home to put the girls to bed and be there to reassure them that mummy would be all right. I also told them several times how proud I was of how they reacted to the situation. Neither of them panicked and both were helpful in getting their little sister out of the way and providing bandages to Laura when she needed them.
The next morning the girls and I had a chat over breakfast and I again reinforced what a great job they had done. I then asked them what they would have done if it were a real emergency because it had occurred to me that I had no idea whether they knew what to do if a situation arose where emergency services were required.
Preparing for the Worst
I asked what they would do if mummy had fallen and was unconscious and I wasn’t home. Our oldest said she would call 911. At least one of them knew what to do! Then we talked about the circumstances in which they should call 911 and how to decide if something was an emergency. I also discovered that our 6 year old didn’t know our full address so we went through that to make sure she knew it all.
Next up I think I’ll teach them some basic first aid and talk through some more scenarios so they know what to do in those situations. They did such a good job this time around I know they have the capabilities to do more if required. Some Emergency preparedness is always a good thing – especially given we have had one broken bone and one set of stitches in the past two months.
I am also going to take a look at our first aid kits in the house and van to make sure they are fully stocked. I found a great resource on the Red Cross site with recommendations of what we should have in our home and vehicle emergency preparedness kits. We have had a number of conversations around here about vampires and zombies. I am not sure that we are prepared for an encounter with either, let along more mundane issues.
We’ve all been through power outages and anybody with kids should probably own stock in Band-Aid given how many boxes of bandages we go through in a a year. Are you ready for the next emergency? Do you and your kids know what to do if there is a fire or if zombies attack?
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