To Young Parents

If any of you have young children and heavy unsecured television sets or the like, proceed immediately to ensure that they are completely secured or remove them.

American Thanksgiving weekend has been very black here. On Sunday evening, our 2 year old grandson, a bright, handsome and active child with a mass of curly blond hair, pulled over a dresser and a heavy television set hit him in the skull fracturing it in two places and breaking two ribs. He stopped breathing. My son revived him with CPR learned only from watching ER and from something he learned when he was 10. The CAT scans are clear, but one of the fractures is an indentation fracture and worrying. He has just been released from intensive care, but is under close attention at a fine hospital. We are cautiously optimistic today and the tension is receding slightly. Our 5-year old granddaughter, who is a great joy to us, is staying with us during the crisis.

A child died in Toronto in a similar accident earlier this year. My daughter-in-law agreed to an interview on CTV last night and was admirable. There is an article about the event in the Toronto Star today here. I am adding my limited voice to their concerns because my son and daughter-in-law decided that they wanted to publicize this easily avoidable risk.

My attention is obviously elsewhere. On the other hand, sometimes things are so chilling that you’re better off working as a distraction.


  1. John Hekman
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I am so sorry to hear of your grandson’s misfortune. I hope that he can recover fully. A similar accident happened to the son of one of my neighbors not long ago. He was struck in the head but did not have injuries as serious as those of your grandson.
    We all need to think about how we can prevent accidents like this. Here in California I have attached tall furniture to the walls to prevent its tipping over in earthquakes, but I had not thought to do the same with the TV set.
    Best wishes to all in your family.

  2. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    I’d just like to send my best wishes and hopes to your grandson and his family. Like John, I had thought about furniture, but not about the TV — thanks for posting.

  3. John Cross
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 1:47 PM | Permalink


    My very sincere wishes for your grandson. I hope that he has a full and speedy recovery.


  4. John A
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    I have a two year girl and there are plenty of scary ways for her to hurt herself in a modern house.

    We all hope Brad is OK.

  5. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 2:15 PM | Permalink


    I hope that your grandson is back to normal very soon. Our son was in the emergency room several times, but never for anything this serious.

  6. PHEaston
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    Wish you all the best for you and your family.

  7. Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 2:19 PM | Permalink


    Our best wishes for your grandson speedy recovery. We had four active daughters, and now four active grandchildren and we have to be constantly on guard for unanticipated accident. It is always the unexpected, from a dangling iron cord, to furnature tipping over backwards. Our heart goes out to your and your family.


  8. Ed Snack
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Steve, our best wishes to your grandson, you, and to your family.

  9. Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    I’m sorry to learn of your grandson’s accident and injuries, and I hope he recovers quickly and fully.

  10. John G. Bell
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    CPR is good to know. I’ve had to make use of it myself and I can tell you these things come out of the blue. I read in the paper today that the AHA CPR Guidlines have changed.

    For more info see page 4 of the winter issue of “Currents”

    Best thing is to go and take or retake the class. Hats off to your son.

  11. Murray Duffin
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    Steve, best wishes and my prayers for your grandson. Murray

  12. Spence_UK
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery from across the Atlantic.

  13. Dano
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    Things can change in the space of a heartbeat, for better and worse. Best wishes, Steve, and I emit positive karma into the multiverse for you and yours sir. Have hope.



  14. TCOmmm
    Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    Good luck Steve. So sorry about the incident.

  15. Posted Nov 29, 2005 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

    Best wishes and I hope your grandson makes a quick recovery.

  16. Anders Valland
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

    I’m sorry to hear about the accident. I hope your grandson recovers fully. I will use my daughters method today by sending you “warm thoughts from the heart”.

  17. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 3:27 AM | Permalink

    I’d like to add my best wishes and hope for a speedy recovery as well.

  18. stephan harrison
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 4:21 AM | Permalink

    I’d just like to add my best wishes for his speedy recovery. With three young children of my own I can imagine what you are going through.

  19. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 4:51 AM | Permalink


    Terrible news – please pass my best wishes to all and for a speedy recovery of your grandson.

  20. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 4:57 AM | Permalink


    Reminds me decades ago when we had one of those simple gas heaters, things made from cast iron and some sort of high temp moulded heat exchanger which glowed when heated with gas. Produced lots of warmth but badly designed to suggest to a nappied younger sister that it was a nice place to sit on. Seconds later one small human running around with a flaming nappy – quickly extinguished, nappy-wise, but the moral of the story is that all children need to be observed full-time.

    Parenting is one hell of a job if one wants heirs.

  21. Geoff Larsen
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 5:43 AM | Permalink


    Having 3 grandchildren of our own I know what you & your family must be going through. God speed to Bradley for a quick recovery.

  22. James Lane
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

    Steve, all of the above.

  23. MarkR
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 6:40 AM | Permalink

    Everyone who has had the care of young children will understand and sympathise. Accidents do happen, unfortunately life is not risk free, and we cannot make it so. Please accept my best wishes for your grandsons speedy recovery.


  24. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 8:01 AM | Permalink


    I don’t have and haven’t had children, but I fear I’d be a nervous wreck if I had been. We do have some children come to our place occasionally, however so it’s a good warning to keep in mind. Thank you and I’m praying for your grandson.

  25. George T
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 8:40 AM | Permalink


    Incidents like these are a parent’s/grandparent’s greatest fears. My very best wishes and sincere prayers to you and your family during this very challenging time.

  26. David Taylor
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    We have a two year old grandson as well and recognise the pain and distress you and yours must be feeling. Our prayers are with you all

  27. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the kind thoughts,as well as to those that have emailed me. It has been a relatively stable 24 hours for Bradley. An MRI is being done today.

  28. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    Our best wishes for a complete recovery to your grandson. One of our sons stumbled into a corner of a TV when he was 2-3 years old. it was enough to cut the forehead and make us aware of sharp tables and furniture.

  29. Roger Bell
    Posted Nov 30, 2005 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    I hope that your grandson makes a speedy and full recovery.
    Congratulations to your son for his effective CPR.

    Roger Bell

  30. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 1, 2005 at 11:41 PM | Permalink

    Baby is doing better. MRI and CAT scans were both clear. He will probably be in hospital for another week. I will probably go to AGU next week after all. Now I have to write my presentation, which I should have done weeks ago.

  31. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Dec 2, 2005 at 12:34 AM | Permalink

    Great news about your grandson, Steve, and also your using the chance to warn others about the dangers via the media.


  32. TCO
    Posted Dec 2, 2005 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

    Do the misdated trees.

  33. guido parravicini
    Posted Dec 2, 2005 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

    Steve, my best wishes for your grandson and your family. Let you all have a serene Christmas with your grandson fully recovered. Guido

  34. JerryB
    Posted Dec 2, 2005 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    What Willis said.

  35. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 3, 2005 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    Aside from the fractures and broken ribs, young Bradley has suffered some nerve damage on the back of his neck. He isn’t walking and is going to have to have extensive physio rehab and re-learn how to walk. It sounds awful, but they say that the prognosis is fairly good. He is going to have to go into residence for 6 weeks starting in January – poor little 2 year old.

  36. David Sockwell
    Posted Dec 7, 2005 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    My family, including my almost 2 y.o., Lena (6) and wife wish your grandchild all the best and a speedy recovery. I have taken some extra care because of this post. I continue to find your approach to blogging nothing short of amazing. Thank you.

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