RE: Why Is My Child Accident Prone?

Updated on March 01, 2011
C.A. asks from Dallas, GA
10 answers

I have twins that are 8 years old. One of them always always seems to get hurt more than the other. When she was 5 or 6 she fell off the couch just right and broke her arm. She had to have surgery for them to put 3 pins in the elbow and wrap her in a cast for 4 weeks. It was a challenge but we survived. Then a few weeks ago we were inside of Wal-Mart grocery shopping and she had put her arms inside of her jacket. She went to sit down on an empty ledge and when she went to get up her leg/knee got hung up inside the jacket and she fell face forward. Well because her hands were not free she had nothing but her face to catch the fall. She literally ate concrete and chipped her two front permanent teeth. Luckily there was no nerve damage that we can see at this point and 96 bucks later she looks just fine. Then this weekend we went to the park. They have this spider-web looking thing made out of rope. She fell from it and she ended up with a pretty nice rope burn across her neck and right armpit. She came crying to me and asked why she always is the one to get hurt....her sister simply replied Well because you aren't careful. She didn't seem too enthused with that answer and honestly I feel like sometimes I need to wrap her in bubble wrap or something because it seems like she DOES always get hurt!!!! Bless her heart I feel so bad for her and I cannot tell her anything else but to just be more careful but it scares me about how often she gets biggest fear is losing one of my children to something and when she gets hurt I cannot help but to think MY god Thank GOD she wasn't seriously hurt this time.....

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answers from Dallas on

I agree with Susan B. about sensory perception. Find a good developmental pediatrician to refer you to an developmental occupational therapist who specializes in that area.
I just noticed you are in Dallas. There is a great clinic in Lakewood. If I can think of the name, I will contact you again. But I think it is Lakewood Pediatric.

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answers from Austin on

Your daughter sounds like my brother. You know the joke - he has a coffee cup with his name on it in the ER.

If it's an unusual accident, it'll happen to him. But in all fairness, I've never had the seat in a car catch on fire, because it never occured to me to rewire the stereo system with an enhanced lighting system, with cables running under the seat, just to see if I could. I've never sliced my palm open with an exacto knife, because it never occured to me to cut off the doors in a model car so that they could be made to open. I've never burst my lip on a bicycle, trying to see if I could stand on the seat.

People who think differently, have different things happen to them.

Accidents happen to everyone (anyone could have gotten the rope burn); it's the different ones that get our attention (and the quantity - the rope burn was only notable in addition to other injuries). It's not so much that your daughter is "accident-prone," so much that she does things differently. Anyone can fall out of a tree and break their arm. Not everyone, though, tries to do gymnastics on the couch. Anyone can fall while dismounting a ledge, but not everyone would think to wear their coat that way.

She'll have more accidents total, probably, because she'll have the kind of normal, everyday accidents we all have, but she'll get the unusual, I-just-had-to-try-this stuff, too. The fact that she wants to try the unusual stuff makes her who she is.

But you might want to invest in some extra pillows she can lay on the floor when she inevitably wants to turn her bed into a trampoline. And definately some knee and elbow pads for whatever she decides to take up, from rock-climbing to trick skateboarding to whatever else her unique little heart desires.

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answers from Austin on

I am always tripping and falling. It is a family joke. I have to laugh because sometimes, I am moving so fast anticipating the other 5 things I want to do, I just do not always see what is coming.. The other thing is that I am just not very coordinated.. Never have been.. I have short legs and am short, it seems like everyone else has long legs so keeping up with them takes more effort.

I did not realize I needed glasses until I was in 4th grade. I tend to look so far ahead of where I am going, I am not looking right in front of myself.

I LOVE heights.. I have no fear of them, so I was a bit of a daredevil..

I also suffer with migraines and have lost some of my equilibrium.. I have an actual doctors order not to stand with my eyes closed unless I am holding onto something. Taking a shower means when I wash my face, I need to be touching the wall or I will fall out of the shower/tub.Total darkness, I will tip over if I cannot see a bit of light somewhere.

I have never (knock on wood) had a broken bone. When working with sharp objects, I really make sure to pay attention. I try to plan my movements or skip a treacherous area if it is not easy to negotiate or I ask for assistance. It took me many years to admit, I was just not as graceful or as coordinated as others..

I hate when people tell me to "slow down" or "look where you are going", but they are right..

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answers from Minneapolis on

I think some of us are just born this way. I have three siblings all born within 4.5 years. So we did most of the same things. One of my brothers got hurt all the time, the rest of us hardly ever!

He swallowed a whole pack of mom's BC pills and had his stomach pumped as a toddler
He stepped into a pail of really hot water and burned his whole leg
He fell off a pony and broke his elbow at 6 and had to have it rebroken and pinned
He has matching scars over each eyebrow from two separate and bloody accidents
He broke his wrist badly as a teenager - snowmobile accident
He was brought home from school with three badly cut fingers from a shop class/saw accident
Then he ended up becoming a father at 18...

He grew up to be an adult and joined the volunteer fire department rescue squad!! He's still alive at 52, has a wife and 5 kids and three grandchildren but still lives life at full speed!

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answers from Philadelphia on

If you learn the answer, let me know :) Are your twins identical? Is the non-accident one sabotaging the other - kidding.

My daughter has always been accident-prone, she can be running on a flat beach and fall flat on her face - she probably does this once/week in the summer. She's 7 1/2. She's had nurse-maid's elbow, a broken arm, fell on her face on a hard tile floor at the airport landing on her chin (granted that one was the middle of the night so exhaustion was a factor) and a series of less-serious injuries. Luckily she doesn't have a sister to compare herself to so there's less of a "why me?" problem. But I wonder "why her?" I don't think she's careless, I think she has very good eyesight. Occasionally, like with the broken arm, there was another kid involved somehow. She's bright, I don't think she takes unnecessary risks, she seems to have a good sense of self-preservation. She just is more prone to vicious attacks of gravity - and we thought that was a simple force of physics :)

I would continue to encourage your daughter to be careful, but don't make her feel like you are scolding her for her klutziness, the injury is punishment enough.

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answers from Kansas City on

My son had sensory perception disorders when he was younger and one of the results of that is the more 'accident prone' child. Even if your children are identical it could be that one is dealing with it when the other isn't. The strangest things can re-set the sensory nerves (such as running a brush up and down their arm, swinging upside down, etc.) so one child might have had more of that than the other. Check-out the 'Out of Sync' child from the library and see if it fits.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

When I read the title of your post, apraxia came to mind.

But, mostly I think her middle name is not "Grace"! LOL

I'd bet you that this particular twin is more verbal, language-oriented? It seems like kids either have one or the other mastered earlier: physical coordination or language-skills.

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answers from Dallas on

Maybe this answer is too simple, but I think a big part of being accident prone is simply from not thinking through (thinking ahead of time) the consequences of one's actions.
I know when my son is doing something that I can foresee a issue with, I will say something about it and that helps him realize how his actions need to change and/or he needs to be more careful.
Just my two cents,

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answers from Modesto on

I think her sister was right.. she's not being careful or cautious or "thinking" or anticipating. she's in too much of a hurry and needs to learn to slow down just a bit. My younger son was always trying to keep up with big brother, thus he had more accidents. They have a goal in mind but dont think about the steps to get there to make it work best for them. Just keep reminding her to pay attention and to think ahead a little.



answers from Spartanburg on

Going to go out on a limb here and suggest something you might not have heard about before. Ever read the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne? It's about the Law of Attraction. I've been working with this book and I'm a believer! So if your daughter believes she will always get hurt, by Law of Attraction, she is drawing accidents to her.

Maybe next time you go out, start reinforcing positive thoughts to her instead. Say "I feel confident that while you play today you will be perfectly safe." Omit the words accident and hurt from your vocabulary. Always focus on the positive. This will reinforce to her that a) you're confident in her which will make HER more confident in herself and b) you're telling her she's going to be safe and she'll DO things to stay safe.

Sounds weird but this really works. I'd check out the medical stuff that folks mentioned but I'd start with words and positive thinking!!

Good luck! I feel confident that your daughter will be the "safe" one very soon. ;-)

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