Friday 1 April 2016

A is for Accidents

Welcome to my posts for the A to Z Challenge 2016.
This year, I am posting 
Special School Stories
 tales from either my time as a teacher or teaching assistant within classrooms in the U.K. or from my own school days growing up around the country

Miss Burgess ran through the door into the classroom and shouted, “I need help! There’s been an accident.”

I went outside to find the teacher on duty standing, white faced with one of the year 3 pupils lying on the ground her head bleeding profusely into a wodge of paper towels. 

“She just ran into the edge of the open door,” he stammered.  “What should I do?”

“Get me another load of paper towels and find a First Aider,” I said kneeling on the floor beside the child’s head and taking off my cardigan. “It’s alright, Tina, you’ve just had a bit of a bump.  Let’s make you a bit more comfortable.” 

I started to peel back the paper towels soaked in blood by the side of her head to check for dirt and foreign bodies but realised that there was an entire flap of skin lifting away.  I re-applied pressure and told the children who were now flocking around Tina to step back and asked the older ones to form a barrier so that we had space.

“How do you feel, Tina?” I asked.

“My hair’s getting dirty,” she snivelled.

“Don’t worry about that,” I retorted “let’s keep you a bit warmer” as she shivered. I sat at the top of her head and put my legs either side of her with my cardigan over her body as the other teacher came back with more paper towels.

“You need to ring for an ambulance and ring Tina’s mum,” I said as he passed them to me.  Off he went again and I placed more paper towels over the blood soaked ones.

“I just think we need your mum to know you’ve been hurt, Tina and I think I would like a doctor to check you out too,” I said reassuringly to her.

Just then our headteacher came out to look at the situation. “Oh my God,” he said staring down at us his eyes wide taking in the amount of blood.

“There’s nothing to worry about, sir,” I said wishing the earth would swallow him up.  I didn’t need him making a fuss and getting Tina upset. The bell rang for the end of break.  “Would you help the children file in carefully past us?” 

“Yes, yes of course,” he replied and went about doing that before hurrying off.

The blood was continuing to seep through the new paper towels I had added but I knew the ambulance would be on its way.  I continued to chat to Tina about her dog, how brave she was being, what lesson the others in her class would be doing now and then there they were - two, towering ambulance men and Tina’s mum as well.

I quickly smiled at Tina’s mum to reassure her.  It was only at the sight of her mum that Tina began to cry and I quickly explained the situation to the guys as they assessed her.  I extracted myself off the playground floor and they placed her on a stretcher.  

Tina’s mum grabbed my hand, “Thank you.”

Miss Burgess found me having a drink in the staffroom and hugged me 

“I’m so sorry,” she said “It was only after I got you out on to the playground I realised I’m a First Aider I should have been the one out there with Tina but I just panicked and then I found you and I knew it would be OK.  You’re always so calm in a crisis.”

Which I have to admit I found very comforting if not a little surprising.  You just never know how you’ll react in a situation!

(Tina I am happy to report made a full recovery with only a slight scar left to show of her ordeal when she held back her fringe.) 

I'd love to know if you ever had an accident at school, did you have to go to hospital, can you remember the teacher who helped you, have you a scar that tells a tale?  Leave your comments below and if you're taking part in the Challenge remember to let me know your blog so I can come visit :)


  1. Very much reminded of running into a pole at school when I was six or seven. Knocked me to the ground. The nurse called my mother. I had a goose egg size bump and Mom had scheduled a family photo that afternoon. Photo was taken anyway, bump and all!

    Pioneer Women in Aviation A-Z

    1. On no - although every picture tells a story they say :)

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  3. Not me, but my sister in law hurt herself on the very first day of her schooling - fell off playground equipment and her teeth went through her lip. Alana

    1. Ooh - nasty!! Not a great start to school for her then?

  4. Hi Pempi, that's quite a story and it sounds like you showed great presence of mind! I shall look forward to reading your contributions to the A-Z Challenge. You can find me at: My theme is Wildlife Encounters. Best wishes, Susan

    1. Reading your blog Susan I expect you've had to handle many difficult and surprising situations on your travels :)

  5. Very Nice Post... I am the AtoZ police making sure you are still participating, if you are not let me know...

    Welcome in the letter "A"... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]

    Stop over and find a free "SIX STRINGS: BLOGGING AtoZ CHALLENGE" Here:

    You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

    1. Hi Jeremy - it's always nice to be visited by a co-host in these early stages :) I'll be checking out that challenge!

  6. Pempi, I haven't been in that situation. It's great that you are so calm in a crisis! I'm looking forward to B through Z.


  7. I tend to be calm in the situation if I have to be and fall apart later... if I'm not needed (as in someone's already dealing with it) I'll tend to fall apart at the time - really not good with blood or anything accident related.

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  8. That must have been quite the scare, but you handled it pretty well!

    I probably did have a couple of accidents while I was in school, but none that I can remember off the top of my head!

    Diana - ABC's of Hamburg

  9. calm, cool, and collected. Excellent story for Tina's sake. I always had scabby knees, but nothing dramatic like this incident. Good start to A to Z

  10. OMG! Such are the the experiences of those who teach SPED and elementary students. I did see a fight resulting in a bloody nose outside my room once and have other bloody noses in the room, but I don't recall an event like this one. Glad Tina recovered fully and that she focused on her hair and not the wound. Good to see that you're doing A to Z. Glenda from
    Evolving English Teacher

  11. Head wounds always bleed the worst. I am a nurse and I remain calm (until the emergency is over) but I remember when my son was running out a door and his arm went through the glass. Lots and lots of blood but no deep cuts. I freaked!!

  12. You were indeed incredibly calm during the crisis, and they're all lucky there was a cool head among them considering they seemed to be like deer in the headlights! I'm sure your demeanor saved Tina a lot of anxiety. Great anecdote (and very well written, by the way). Have a lovely weekend! :)

  13. I am the master of carefulness and hardly even grazed a knee as a child - however as a grown up I tripped over a paving slab which was hidden and fell just on my chin, avoided all injuries to teeth etc, just needed stitchers in my chin, and then drying a glass in a hurry two years ago sliced open my hand, through a nerve... that took a long time to be ok and sparked arthritis in my hand, so it's as well to be careful! Sounds like you are the ideal person to have around in a crisis. Great blog! Liz

  14. Not everyone can respond the way you did and it was so important. Thank you for sharing that.

    Thank you for your kind comments on my blog about my cats. Losing 2 in a few months has been really hard. I know you understand.

    Heather M. Gardner / @hmgardner
    Co-Host, Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
    The Waiting is the Hardest Part

  15. Nope, never had that kind of accident at school but I used to give my teachers a lot of problems. I was a super sensitive child and would cry at the drop of a hat and cry for hours and hours. Glad I grew out of that.

  16. I admire your ability to be calm in a crisis. My sister is that way and sadly I am the opposite!
    Looking forward to your theme as I'm sure you have lots of interesting stories to share with us.

  17. Hey! Good to see you back this year. I enjoyed your posts last year and know I will again this year. I was never in an accident at school, and (thankfully) have not witnessed one while working in schools although I have heard the horror stories!

    Fangirl Stitches
    Travel like a Geek

  18. Well I see that I'll have a new entertaining blog to follow for A to Z! Thanks for the early comment on mine. I finally managed to get the first one up for this year. :)

  19. My daughter has a small scar on her beautiful chin from flying off a swing into the gravel under it...a nice Dad who happened to be an EMT pulled out most of the gravel out of the cut, but didnt get it daughter likes to remind me that I didnt bother bringing her to the hospital to get it really cleaned out!

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  21. Given the populations I've taught, I've been very fortunate my students haven't had accidents like that. On the other hand, I have not been as fortunate myself! I've had some tough ones! Looking forward to following your adventures.

  22. It really is amazing how some people can keep their cool, and others can't! I'd like to think I'm in the keep-your-cool camp :) Having my daughter come inside with blood gushing from her, I thought for sure that she broke it again. Nope, just needed a few stitches...but the face sure does bleed A LOT!
    Looking forward to seeing you around this years A to Z Pempi!

  23. Beautiful story, Pempi and so well written. Never had any accidents in school, but witnessed quite a few bloody ones from fights.
    Have a great weekend!

    My A2Zs @ As the Fates Would Have It & Promptly Written
    Follow Me (Ravyne) Twitter|Facebook

  24. My worst 'school scar' was from when I was actually teaching a P4 maths lesson. I walked past an old coffee table they had in the classroom, telling the children to put their work on it when I was done, and as I brushed past it I drove a 4.5" piece of wood on the edge of it into my thigh.

    The headteacher had to drive me to hospital. I was mortified.

  25. Great story. Years ago I worked part time on the school playgrounds. When the first HIV panics came through, we were instructed that if there was any accident involving blood at all we were not to touch the student but go to the office and get the "HIV kit and rubber gloves before touching the child. I knew in my heart if there was an accident I would be holding the child and trying to calm them rather than run to the office.