I went to the local superstore this evening and as I walked in the doors with my boys this woman and little girl came running out of the store screaming. The lady kept yelling, “oh my god!” and “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry” to the little girl. The little girl then responded with sobs of confusion and utter terror.
From what I could gather- another lady had been with them who was related to them (I’m thinking grandma, mom, daughter) and she had a seizure and fell hard just beyond the check out. This gal panicked at the sight of the seizure and her flight/fight response went into hyperdrive. This then felt like extreme terror to the little girl (maybe 4 y.o.) who responded with sobs and shear terror.
A nurse and two firemen happened to be in the store and immediately took to helping the seizure victim and a bystander and Meijer staff took to calming the lady and child.
Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to learn from the mistakes of this family. The flight or fright response is an instinct that humans have had since the beginning of time. It’s a response that was first used to alert cavemen when to run when a saber-toothed tiger was on the prowl and gaining on them. It is the instinct that kicks in when you watch a horror movie and you want to run out of the theater. It is the instinct that you hear about occasionally when a woman is mugged or attacked in some way and they kick the assailant or bite the assailant and get out of a bad situation unharmed. It is an INSTINCT. Instincts can be trained to not react. A dog’s instinct is to eat birds and rabbits but our family dog has been trained to ignore that instinct and instead protects the birds and rabbits that he watches over in our barn.
In an emergency, especially when you have a child present, adults must stay as calm as possible. We must overcome the instinct to panic, scream, and run. The main reason for this is to keep the child calm and with as little fear as possible- traumatic experiences are horrible and there is no reason to make it any worse by panicking. The other reason is because if you keep your senses about you and stay calm, you will be able to think of ways to help or will at least be able to hear others who give you instructions on what to do.
A lot of time was wasted trying to calm the panicking woman when those people could have used their time to help the person in need instead.
A side note- if you know someone in your life has a seizure disorder, talk to them before they have a seizure around you. Find out what happens during a seizure, find out the warning signs of an abnormal seizure, find out what you should do to help them in the even of a seizure. Get prepared.
A second side note- My personal belief is that every person out there should know basic first aid and how to contact emergency services if they are needed. Teach small children how to call 911 and how to say their full name and address. Teach school aged children how to clean a simple cut and bandage it. Teach older students CPR and other first aid techniques. Knowledge will lessen the panic as well.
God is good- all the time. . . .