Monday, 26 July 2010

An ice-cold learning point

We're not all perfect, we all make a few mistakes.
Arguably one of my early ones with my son was on a very hot day when he was clearly overheating  whether in our flat or outside in the breezeless shade.

I was alone with him for one of the first times but knew that intuitively that if his head was hot enough to fry an egg on, I needed to cool him down - and fast.

So amidst wailing and soothing and the usual one-armed filling of the mini-bath I poured out a cooling bath.  It refreshed me, at least, as I splashed it over my over-anxious forehead.
I forget exactly whether or not their was any hot water in the bath at all - suffice to say it would have suited only penguins and polar bears.

Now remember my goal was to reduce his temperature.  Remember that and evaluate accordingly.
I caressed my boy in my arms before plunging him into the icy depths.
For a wondrous second his wails abated; more accurately they paused while the shock shook the air from his lungs.  Amid deep breaths the crying returned and I realised he did not like it at all, but also that his temperature was dramatically reduced by the 5 second dunking.

It was a tricky dilemma but one I faced with courage - I dunked him again.

Some might say I should have re-run the bath with warmer water but realistically his wailing would have continued all that time.
Yes, he was invigorated as much by the second soaking as the first, and the sobbing did continue for a short while afterwards, but the dangerously high temperature had been returned to normal levels.
Unorthodox?  Yes.  Wrong - I'd like to think the jury's still out on that one...

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