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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

my 2 year old has changed since she broke her leg

(12 Posts)
breakaleg Mon 18-Aug-08 21:49:07

Hi ten days ago my dd fell off a climbing frame onto concrete and had a nasty fracture in her leg. I feel absolutely dreadful about it- wake up thinking about it every night. She has a full leg cast on and is beginning to crawl but has changed to a screaming tantrumming little girl. I know it is because she is frustrated and angry and she feeds my guilt constantly (she was being watched but my sister in law failed to catch her- I keep thinking I should never have left her). I am wondering what I can do to help my daughter feel more settled or is it going to be like this for the next six weeks? Any experience/advice appreciated.

crispyduck Mon 18-Aug-08 21:53:19

it could be the plaster cast causing her discomfort....it is irritating....i fractured my foot in june and had cast on for week before i was given an aircast boot...i even cryed myself through the irritation of the cast...bless her

BreeVanderCampLGJ Mon 18-Aug-08 21:57:04

OK

Fact accidents happen. shock at my SIL failed to catch her. WTH

I am sure it is upsetting, but you need to move on.

She is throwing tantrums, because a) she is frustrated, and b) she is picking up on your stress levels.

So have you never left her, do you take her to the bathroom with you every time you need more than a wee ??

Stop beating yourself and your poor SIL up.

andiem Mon 18-Aug-08 21:58:18

breakaleg she may be in pain are you giving her regular pain killers?

Elibean Mon 18-Aug-08 22:55:24

You poor love (and your dd, of course, but you too), do try and take this gang of MNers into your mind at night and imagine us saying 'repeat after me, its not your fault, accidents happen, you can't wrap your kids in cottonwool'. I'd be just the same, and would need the same chorus, of course, but its true nonetheless.

I don't know what to suggest for your dd, not having had that same experience, but would think anything that can a) reduce physical discomfort as suggested and b) re-direct her frustrated energy towards achieving something, might help. I would maybe try giving her challenges of other sorts, depending on what she enjoys - my dd2 was a very late walker and when most frustrated I would give her bricks to build towers with, or instruments to bang hard, or sit on the floor and roll balls back and forth etc??

And also maybe worth remembering that at her age (I'm assuming she's quite little), a shift to tantrums and frustration is also pretty normal...not all of it, probably, but maybe good to put in the 'normal' bit.

wilbur Tue 19-Aug-08 14:38:25

breakaleg - poor you, I know how you feel. Ds2 fractured his leg when he was only 20 months old, stepping backwards off a step awkwardly, and I felt like the worst mother ever. Cried when they told me at the hosp (and I am not a crier), but accidents do happen, esp in parenting, you (and your SIL) cannot take the blame for every fall. As horrid as it is, a child with a broken limb will recover - a child whose mother never lets her climb and run or never leaves her side will grow up to be a fearful adult. Which would you rather?

Ds2 took a while - a week or so - to get used to his cast, but then barely noticed it. His was not a bad fracture though, so perhaps your dd is just going to take that bit longer to settle. Also, she could be in a little pain from swelling etc, so I would give some calpol and see if that helps. I would try to have some v calm days, if you can, lots of fun attention - maybe painting or sticking stuff with her - that is not about the leg. Hope you all feel better soon.

CarGirl Tue 19-Aug-08 14:52:51

Be warned it takes about 6 weeks 3 months after the cast is off before their body is finished repairing the break. Until then you can expect them to be tired, grumpy and a bit of a pain because they're not well.

Blu Tue 19-Aug-08 15:26:01

Huge sympathies - but really, not your fault, not your SILs fault....forget your needless guilt and concentrate on a positive outlook with your DD.

From my own experience of a small child in a full cast:

Be as creative as possible in enabling her to be as normal as possible - do not be more protective than usual - encourage her to be as independent as possible. See how much crawling and cruising she can do. DS could stand and cruise unnassisted in his cast, and get upstairs. Teach her to 'utch' about on her bottom and encourage it.

Don't be over-sympathetic - be normal and natural - she will easily pick up on any cue from you that she should play up!

Get a cover for her cast - plaster rooms often diplay adverts them - so that you can let her do things like messy play, sit on a chair and squirt the hose pipe all over the garden if you have one. Introduce new activities - bathing dollies, throwing bean-bags, indoor teddy-bear picnics...

But - she may well feel frustrated, and then a bit depressed and withdrawn. Don't worry - she will recover very quickly to her old self when recovered.

psychomum5 Tue 19-Aug-08 15:52:34

my DD1 broke her leg, about 3wks before she turned 3.

she had been helping in the garden.....we had just moved in and DH was laying a patio and steps, she held the patio slab as DH let go, and it fell on her leg and foot breaking 3 bones. DH felt soooooooooooo guilty, especially as he had been holding the slab and was stood right next to her, but guess what.....it was an accident.

accidents happen, and with small children that actually happen with someone very close by to them, and also in the care of someone who loves them. BUT, unless meant (in the was of a beating), it is no-ones fault......blame and guilt are part of being a parent but they are pretty useless emotions (in that we waste time feeling them and they stop us from seeing the bigger picture on how to kepp them positive etc).

now, her tears may also be from pain.....it can hurt having a cast, they are heavy (even the fibre-glass ones) and unweildly (sp?) and on the leg especially (and for an active toddler it is more frustrating), it stops you moving and doing stuff in the normal way.

with my DD1, it took 4wks before she even put any weight on her leg, and I had to go buy a double pushchair again (just as I had got rid of ours and opted fora buggy and step), and she then stayed in that double until she was almost 4....it took her that long to get her confidence back again.

I would give her lots of TLC(not for one minute suggesting that you aren;t giving her TLC thowink), and lots of praise for any thing she achieves on her own. lots of calpol too........I knwo from my own breaks that the throbbing can take 2wks to settle), and listen to ehr if she says it feels odd. she may not have the language yet to describe pins and needles properly, and they are the one thing you do need to look out for, as it may mean swelling or that the cast has shifted.

good luck with all this, and please, don;t feel bad. it happens!!

breakaleg Tue 19-Aug-08 17:35:22

thanks for all the help here. I am trying to do normal things- for her older sisters sake too she is climbing the wall!) But it is good to be reminded how much time it will take for her to get over it

lucysmum Tue 19-Aug-08 21:30:36

get a Limbo cover then you don't need to worry about it getting wet in garden, bath etc. Made my life much easier, gives back another bit of normality. Try not to let leg hang down eg in car seat (easier said than done !) as this seemed to give my DD (just under 2) terrible cramp/muscle pain. get out old baby toys that she can play with on floor and things to encouerage her to move eg toy cars. Dont feel guilty - I more or less broke my DD2's elbow (by accident I hasten to add) and DD3 broke her leg on our trampoline. Dog has also now broken leg...It happens !

Blu Wed 20-Aug-08 12:26:50

Limbo cover - yes, that's the name - I couldn't remember it!

I have a big pile of duvets on the car floorin front of DS's seat fro him to rest his leg horizontally on.

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