Why You Should Play It Cool When a Child Falls and Looks at You

Kristin Wong

Why You Should Play It Cool When a Child Falls and Looks at You

It’s hard not to wince when you see someone fall, hit their head, or run into someone. When a child does it, they’ll usually look to an adult to see how they should react. For this reason, it’s best to keep it cool.

In reply to a user who asks how to react when their child trips and falls, one Quora user explains:

That 3 second delay between the fall and the crying is usually the result of them reacting to you. You freak out, making them think something terrible has happened, so they start crying. Wait and see what they do. If they seem ok, help them up if they are still down. Let them go back to playing. Falling down is part of being a kid, and usually not an event. Don’t make it into one. If they are hurt, it’s even more important not to freak out. What a scared kid needs is someone who is in control and taking care of things. Give them first aid or take them to the emergency room, calmly.

Although I don’t have kids myself, I learned this through experience. I used to work at a day care, and anytime a kid would hurt themselves, I’d immediately freak out and ask if they were okay, even if they just tripped or bumped a table. My reaction would usually make them start bawling.

A co-worker, who was a mother, told me to fight the urge to cringe and instead smile and stay calm. I tried it, and it worked like a charm. When they looked at me, I’d say, “you’re okay, right?” and they’d usually joke it off or nod and go about their business.

If they’re genuinely hurt, of course, that’s another story. But for those minor accidents, it helps to stay calm and let them know everything is okay.

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