A Breakfall Can Save Lives
Break falls can save your life. I have said before in my article "Break falls - How to fall and not get hurt". But I think that it is always worthwhile to tell more stories just to get the point across.
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The absolute number one story, the most unforgettable, potent, not to mention the one I am most grateful for, is the story of how my second son's life was almost certainly saved.
He was 8 years old. We were at a park and the boys had drifted off into the distance to play. They were off a little too far for comfort but I was also looking after an elderly lady who needed attention just at that moment so I had to attend to her before I chased them.
Just as I was heading off to call the boys back I was approached by a lady with this to say: "Now sir I don't want you to panic, he is alright, but your son has been hit by a car".
As I ran as fast as I could with my heart pounding and in a state of what I can only describe as controlled panic, I heard the lady reiterate "it's alright you don't need to panic". Afterwards, it occurred to me, it was probably a good thing but never-the-less futile to say.
I was always going to have some degree of panic at that news but the comment "he's ok" does help. A little anyway. A very little but still a little.
When I arrived at the location of the accident I found my son sitting on the edge of the road a little shaken but as the lady had said he seemed fine. Which was amazing since all the bystanders told stories of my son going high up into the air before he hit the ground.
As I am trained in first aid I gave him a check over.
Children tend to look at you very strange when you are their father trying to determine if there is any head injury and out of necessity you ask "do you know your name".
It is a good sign when your child says "Why are you asking me that dad you know my name".
It doesn't help when bystanders hear you ask that same question and immediately want to confirm that you are the farther. It's disturbing just how few people have even the most basic knowledge of first aid and are therefore alarmed by the question.
It's also disturbing how quickly drivers in this situation immediately want to blame the person who they hit. Don't they know that when someone feels the need to play the blame game they only make themselves look suspicious?
My son may have given the driver no choice but it is my experience that if you are innocent you tend to be more concerned for the person you hit than yourself.
Determining that he was in good enough condition to take him to the hospital without the aid of an ambulance, my wife and I ( who took a lot longer to arrive as she was heavily pregnant with our fourth son) bundled my son into the car and took him to hospital.
The doctors were great but were also equally impressed by the lack of injury given the description of the accident. I asked my son what he did and he said that he "tried to do a forward roll break fall just like you taught me".
I replied that I think that he must have done a very good job because he only had scratches on him and a bit of shock.
Breakfalls save lives.
You can see more stories about a breakfast saving lives here