Injury recovery

Hi all-
My two year old recently burned the top of his hand, resulting in a 2nd degree burn. After wrapping his hand for over a week and making sure it’s all healed we are finally clear to move forward with no wraps! Now, he is no longer using his left hand and keeps it close to his chest. When I ask him to hold a toy or grab something with that hand he yells “ouchie, no hand! No hand!” And only uses his right hand. We are past the time of pain so I know he isn’t actually in pain. But he is afraid to use it. How do I go about teaching him it’s safe to use his hand and it won’t hurt… how do I encourage him to use both hands?

Hi! This I am Rhea, a pediatric PT and mom! First, poor little guy!! That is no fun at all (although probably more traumatizing for parent/caregiver right?!). A couple things to try:

  1. Give him something motivating to play with that requires two hands (like a big ball, balloon or teddy bear). That way, if he wants play he’ll have to get that other hand involved!
  2. If you guys have steps or stairs and he’s still using the rail to climb (as a lot of our friends that age are), maybe have him try going up and down with his cup or lovey in his other hand. Then maybe he will use his other hand to help some how.

Just some ideas. I’m sure it will just take some time to get over the ouchies. Good luck!

Rhea, PT

I think @RheaPT-WalkTalkPlay has great ideas! Anything where he doesn’t realize he is using that hand. Even things like reading a book or playing peek-a-boo with a blanket. Also maybe sand or water play? Maybe during the bath have him use the wash cloth to ‘wash’ his arms, belly, hands, etc?

I’m so glad he is feeling better, that couldn’t have been fun for any of you.

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poor baby! that must have been so horrible for him and you. We had a similar situation a while back, but it was a bad fall not a burn. We tried offering more items-toys and snacks on the injured side, especially when he wasn’t paying attention.

We also always put lotion on a night after the bath and he was really resistent to his wrist/hand initially so we expanded over the course of a few days… first stopped at the shoulder, then upper arm, then elbow etc. till he didn’t realize we were lotioning hund again

I also like the ideas given about playing with things that requires both sides- try play dough, or slime, cause what can can resist those

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