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Hope for accident prone kids

My mother had a good deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.

–Mark Twain

Parenting is a difficult job – and one that few would sign up for given full advanced disclosure. I suppose my parents had their share of woes – my near-death experience as an infant, my being mauled by a vicious dog as a toddler, my getting lost in the woods (collecting poisonous toad stools) at age 4, my facial surgery after a bicycle accident, my head injury from a fall out of the tree house, my toboggan versus barbed wire fence encounter, my front teeth versus metal bar incident, my rib fractures and nearly ruptured spleen from another fall from a bunk bed, and my ski accident requiring knee reconstruction surgery… I guess you could call me accident prone.

Looking back it makes sense why my parents encouraged me not to play contact sports, but pursue academics. I took to jogging and tennis instead (yes, I managed to sprain my ankle and catch a racket to the eye nonetheless), and physical training in the gym. But my redirection towards reading and homework was probably a good thing – as it helped me to develop intellectual discipline, and at the very least kept me out of the ER.

So what is the moral of this story? I guess if you have a kid who’s physically challenged – or at least seems to be a magnet for high velocity metal objects, do not lose heart. With a little direction, he or she can grow up to become a doctor who helps other kids who injure themselves repeatedly in creative and unexpected ways.

Were you an accident prone kid, or do you have an accident prone kid? I’d like to hear some of your war stories!

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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3 Responses to “Hope for accident prone kids”

  1. RH Host Marly says:

    Lets’ see….
    Stitches on my knee, tongue, & upper lip. I burned my inner thigh with a light bulb.
    I fractured both my legs playing softball. These sound pretty minute to yours but at the time were excruciatingly painful:( especially the stitches on tongue (no anesthesia)

    You know, Dr. Val..if it weren’t’ for your “troubled” childhood, the medical field would not have you–that would’ve been very sad–You are definitely an asset to this profession:)

    Thank you!

  2. ValJonesMD says:

    Wow, you had your share of incidents yourself! When I worked in the pediatric ER, I had to stitch up many children’s faces (one after a dog mauling as well) – and I felt a lot of compassion for them because I had been there myself once. So adversity can be used for good…

    Burning your inner thigh with a light bulb? That’s pretty creative! 🙂

  3. Mother_of_five says:

    I have five children and my oldest seems to be my accident/sickness prone child so far. He is 12 and so far has knocked a front tooth so loose we had to have it removed at 3, had his tonsils out at 5, stitches in his hand at 8, and broke his arm at 10. We just found out he is going to need braces also.

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