The Sticky Side of Life

How to survive an Emergency Room Wait with a Toddler

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How to Survive an Emergency Room Wait with a Toddler. ER Visit with a Toddler. What to do in the ER with a ToddlerIf you’ve ever had a Toddler, then you’ve probably been to the Emergency Room. For whatever reason, you’re going to have to wait, and waiting is hard for Toddlers. The Emergency Room Wait can be especially brutal because, well, they’re already upset.

Pin this now and save it for later, or if you’re IN THE ER RIGHT NOW, scrambling for your phone to get some ideas off of Pinterest… I’ll get right to it! 

Top 5 Emergency Room Wait Survival Tips

1- Grab a Glove

The Emergency Rooms have plenty there and I’m sure they would rather give up one than listen to a screaming toddler. Blow it up and tie the end so that it makes a balloon. Twirl it, float it, bop it around until you get a smile. Now play some games with it.

Don’t let it touch the floor

Depending on how injured your toddler is, you can do this. Some sick kids might get a kick out of you, making a fool out of yourself in front of them. Try that! Other kids can muster up the effort to play along. The key is distraction fro the pain or whatever it is you’re in there for. Caution: If your kid is at the Emergency Room for bleeding, don’t get them all excited with their blood pumping, just let them watch you!

Finger Math

This works for older kids, especially if they need to be kept alert. Ask them to count fingers, take away fingers {which is super fun to squish them inside} and the even a little finger smashing can do the trick.

How to Survive an Emergency Room Wait with a ToddlerHow to Survive an Emergency Room Wait with a ToddlerHow to Survive an Emergency Room Wait with a ToddlerHow to Survive an Emergency Room Wait with a Toddler

How to Survive an Emergency Room Wait with a Toddler2- Grab some Cups

Again, the Emergency Room has plenty, and I’m sure they’ll sacrifice 3 to stop the screaming toddler. Stack them up into a triangle and try to knock them over with other stuff. Remember the carnival game where you throw a ball into the milk bottles for a bear? Well… the winner of this game gets stitches, and maybe a sticker.

Knock over the cups

Use whatever you can find to toss at the cups. Tear some pages or leaflets out of the magazines and form little balls. Use the glove as a slingshot, anything!

Toss into the cups

Arrange the cups like you would bowling pins, facing up, or think, ski-ball. Toss things into them from afar. Use the same balled up pieces of paper.

How to Survive an Emergency Room Wait with a Toddler3- Grab a Magazine

Chances are your kid has not seen these magazines before or they might actually have a kid’s magazine {why don’t they put kids’ books in the ER wait rooms?}

Play I Spy

Pick a page with a lot of pictures and play I spy. Depending on the age of your child maybe choose colors, “I Spy something purple, etc”

Make paper airplanes

Tear out a page {sorry ER staff but wouldn’t you prefer a not-screaming toddler?} and fold it up into an airplane. If you do not know how to fold a paper airplane here is a quick How-to Post with pictures from Crafty Chicks.

4- Cuddle

This one might not work out for everyone, but it still makes the list.

Sing & Rock

Sometimes your poor buddy just needs some consoling. The Emergency Room is pretty scary if it is their first time there. Maybe all you need to do is hold them, lay down on that sterile, paper lined table and hold him or her tightly. Sing a song they know, or make one up. The Emergency Room is also full of other people who could be making scary noises. Your singing might bring them the peace and distraction they need if playing isn’t in the cards.

Take a Museum Walk

Since that Emergency Room is such a big scary place, maybe walk around showing all the cupboards and tools, like you’re in a museum. If all he or she wants to do is be held this will be perfect. There are so many big machines and valves and gears that you’re not supposed to touch {just like a museum} this may work for you. Start in one corner of the room and observe all the different things. The Blood Pressure device is called a sphygmomanometer, by the way.

5- Use your Diaper Bag

I save this one for last because, well, if it was a big Emergency you may not have remembered it. Which is okay. Hopefully, you can call someone to bring it in for you if it’s still out in the car.

Your Wait Bag Toys

In our Diaper Bag, we have a Wait Bag which we usually use at Restaurants to keep the kids entertained. It just so happens to work well in the Emergency Room too! In it, we have puzzles, crayons, and even straws. Use it as long as you can. If you have the diaper bag from the beginning, I would start there. You probably won’t need anything else.

Good Luck to You!

There are some other obvious things you can do, like let them play with your phone. However, I didn’t put that on the list because at the time, when Wyatt was most distraught, he would have thrown it and broken it. Truth be told, I actually forgot my phone when we fled to the ER and we did use Billy’s to let Wyatt watch videos of himself golfing. I took these pictures with my phone on our second trip to the doctor after Wyatt re-busted his stitch glue and had to have it re-evaluated. Fortunately, we did not have to redo it!

I hope this helped you out of a Sticky situation. Life gets so Sticky and Sweet and if there is anything I can share to help I do.


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Hi There! I’m Kandice.

Wife, WAHM, and mother to 2 Hooligan boys making the most out of my Sweet & Sticky. {not sure who is who yet… they change daily}

Life is what you make it and when you accept your Sweet & Sticky you can regain control of your chaotic #MomLife.

I’m sharing all of my Sweet & Sticky #MomWins with you including posts like this one, as well as building Small Home Systems, Organizing Mom Routines, and Charting Schedules.


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