My Toddler’s First ER Trip: When Mom Becomes the Patient, Too

I didn’t think when I brought my toddler to the emergency room for the first time that the medical staff would also end up having to take care of me.

My 2-year-old son took a nasty fall at home on Sunday morning (straight into the edge of my nightstand), and before I knew it, he was screaming, blood pouring from his forehead. A parent’s nightmare. Toddler boys are WILD and, while I knew his first ER trip was bound to happen one of these days, that didn’t stop the overwhelming terror when that time actually came.

“Oh my God, is he going to be okay? Please don’t let him have a concussion. That was a REALLY hard hit. Did he crack his skull?! Wow, that is a lot of blood! He needs to go to a hospital!” All those thoughts and more swirled through my head in a matter of five seconds.

Thankfully, my mom mode quickly kicked in, and I furiously threw on a bra, got Tanner strapped into his car seat, and headed for the Wolfson Children’s Emergency Room at Town Center. On an ordinary day, the ER is 15 minutes from our house but, let me tell you, we made it there much quicker than that (sorry, JSO).

I was prepared to wait once we arrived at the ER, as adults typically do, but no sooner than providing Tanner’s name and date of birth (thankfully, he was already in the system since he was born at Baptist South), were we quickly whisked back to a room. I can’t tell you what a relief that was for this anxious mom to know my son would be getting immediate care!

The nurses were fabulous, and while one started cleaning up Tanner’s wound, the other brought him a popsicle and iPad to watch cartoons.

The doctor examined Tanner and quickly said he would definitely need some stitches, but that he didn’t think my son had a concussion. Another sigh of relief.

When the time came for the doctor to stitch him up, Tanner was obviously scared, so I stayed close, rubbing his cheek and telling him everything was going to be ok. I glanced up at the doctor pulling the sutures through my son’s open skin. BIG mistake.

My supermom exterior immediately started to crumble, and I could feel the color leaving my face. I knew I was about to pass out. I told one of the nurses helping with my son that I was not okay as I collapsed into a chair. She handed me a puke bag just in time.

So, now I have one nurse tending to me while the other is assisting the doctor with my son. I mean, how embarrassing is that?! After some water, a cold towel for my neck, and a few questions about my medical history, I was back on my feet just in time to give my brave boy a big hug.

Thank you, Wolfson, for taking excellent care of not only my son, but of me, as well! You were great, but I’m hoping it’s a while before we have to see you again.

In an emergency, minutes can truly make all the difference. Wolfson Children’s Hospital has pediatric specialists ready around the clock to treat most injuries. For more information on Wolfson Children’s Emergency and Trauma services, visit

Jess Dinney
Jess Dinney is a Florida transplant who grew up in New York but has been living in Jacksonville for 8 years. After working as a corporate event planner and conference manager for 14 years, Jess is now a full-time stay-at-home mom to her 1-year-old twins. In her free time (wait, twin toddlers, what is free time?) Jess loves spending time outdoors with her wife and kids, going to Jags games, and trying out new restaurants around town. Follow her on Instagram @doublethedinneys for the low-down on twin mom life, LGBTQ advocacy, local food tours, and more!


  1. I don’t usually leave comments but I have to say this also happened to mother and me I was 12 and had to have 39 stitches on my jaw from a jungle gym fall and my mom almost passed out when they started flushing it

  2. My father passed out as my sister was born. My mother said he got everyone’s attention, including her OB/GYN. She had no sympathy for him at all.

    • My mom totally passed out when I was having my daughter and they ended up having to like going help her off the floor

  3. Deja Vu! This happened to me over 30 years ago, when I took my son to the ER after he fell off of his bike and split open his chin! The funny thing is that I went to college for Nuclear Medicine, and didn’t even flinch with all of the things that I had to witness. But, it was my son that was laying there! Big difference!

  4. The same happened to me ,my young son was getting stitches above the eye and I heard the dr.yell”I need help in here I got a fainting mom”.more nurses came in and grabed me before I hit the floor.terrifying


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