A hit on the head and where it led – guest review

A hit on the head and where it led 

Nick in Emergency

Written by Jennifer Cooper-Trent, illustrated by Anthony Mitchell
Momentum multimedia, Balgowlah, 2004.


– a book review by Nick

“A hit on the head” is a non-fiction book about a six year old who rode his bike into a car and got a hit on his head and how he got over this struggle.

The boy was knocked out and was rushed in an ambulance to the emergency room at the hospital. A torch was shone in his eyes “as bright as the moon”. He woke up and said “my head hurts”. There were some scans and tests and an operation to clear blood from his head. His mum, dad and teddy bear were at the hospital and in a few days he felt much better.

At school it was hard, he couldn’t do work easily and words got jumbled. His mum said his brain just needed a rest. Kids at school called him “brain damaged” and other names, it was a struggle.

Four years later his writing was great and this encourages other kids with brain damage or a hit on the head to keep trying and be strong.

On the back of the book it says “wear your hat man”. I always wear my helmet.

From my perspective as a young rider, falling off your bike is bad if it’s on concrete but some falls can easily be avoided by slowing down and thinking ahead, especially at corners and busy roads. When I fell off my bike and went to hospital it hurt but it’s good to know your family is there with you.

At school respect everyone and their different learning, including if they have been “hit on the head”. It doesn’t matter whether you’re bullied or not respect everyone.

By Nick, 11 years

(photo in hospital Emergency, bike accident took place a few years ago)

A hit on the head and where it led (with link to YouTube video) is available for loan from the AWCH library.

Other AWCH resources for families of children with a Traumatic Brain Injury include :

Out of the shadows: understanding the experience of siblings following their brother or sister’s Acquired Brain Injury [DVD]

Looking ahead: Returning to school after an acquired brain injury [DVD]

Step by step: a guide for families of children and adolescents with a brain injury (E-resource)

EdMed: Ronald McDonald learning program education medical guidelines

Out there! recreational activities and resources for young people with acquired brain injury. A guide for parents

Head injury, the facts: a guide for families and care-givers by Dorothy Gronwall, Philip Wrightson and Peter Waddell,

Caring for children with special healthcare needs and their families a handbook for healthcare professionals Edited by Linda L. Eddy, Oxford Wiley- Blackwell, 2013.

Pediatric traumatic brain injury by Jeffrey H. Snow and Stephen R. Hooper

Traumatic brain injury rehabilitation: services, treatments and outcomes Edited by M. Anne Chamberlain et al.

Children with acquired brain injury : planning and support guide for schools, preschools and childcare services Department of Education, Training and Employment, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide

Children with acquired Brain Injury: educating and supporting families Edited by George H.S. Singer, Ann Glang and Janet M. Williams


Books on brain injury for children and teens – Lash & Associates publishing


Jillian Rattray
AWCH librarian
Email: Jillian@awch.com.au
AWCH Library


My trip to hospital – DVD resource

Queensland Health, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital
Nic, 8 years old, was recently admitted to hospital after an accident. Nic watched My trip to hospital DVD at home shortly after the hospital visit to Emergency in a Sydney hospital. His older sister was with him in the Emergency waiting room and also watched the DVD…
They had different parts about going to hospital that most kids would not know. Probably they would only know about tongues, ears and temperatures and scales. Probably they need to show a little bit more about cuts, twisted ankles and broken bones since most accidents happen that way. I thought it was funny when they sang about radiology and you got to know all about hospital equipment.
Nic’s sister (aged 13 years) 

The DVD was good, they looked at the ward and I think one of the things worth knowing about was the rollout bed where your parents could stay. It was comforting to know that your parents could sleep there. They showed you hospital equipment and told you the needles were only going to hurt for a short time, the pain would be over and done with. Another thing was they told you about waiting and what your parents would be doing, ‘more paper work’. You are prepared because you know what to bring, pyjamas and a book. The playroom is great because hospital is not just about going and staying in a bed doing nothing, there are other things to do besides just sitting there. You could ask the nurse to go to the play area with you and you can be with your siblings and be with other children in your age group.

My trip to hospital DVD and books can be borrowed from the AWCH library. Visit Queensland Health, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital for the My trip to hospital program.  Find useful information about preparing your child for hospital, written for children, young people, parents and families. Importantly, there are some general tips about when to tell your child and what to tell them about going to hospital.

Other preparation includes medical play with stuffed animals and toys, reading books and helping to pack the hospital bag.


Jillian Rattray
AWCH librarian
May 2015

Painful paediatric practice

I was out to dinner with my girlfriends last night and at dinner the topic of pain relief in hospital came up. One of my girlfriend’s children had broken his arm and to fix the fracture pins had been placed in his humerus. To have pins removed, my friend took her son to the local paediatric hospital. Before Bob had his pins removed he was offered no pain relief and this is where the story really starts…..

To remove his pins Bob was placed in a chair. His mother was asked to sit next to him.  A clown doctor was there to distract the child whilst the pin was being removed. To remove the pin the doctor used pliers, which slipped as the pin did not come out easily. This process caused Bob a great amount of distress…. However, as this was happening, the clown doctor was attempting to put a red nose on the mother – impeding her ability to comfort Bob. In addition, there was still one more pin to be removed. Yet by this time the child was hysterical and distraught.

A comedy of errors, or a sheer lack of planning and consideration for the needs of Bob and his mother?

The reason I wish to share this story is that this type of situation exemplifies why AWCH is still relevant in 2014. In our 40 year history we have made lots of progress in advocating for children and their families as they navigate the health care system. However stories like Bob’s and Betty’s still exist.

Betty is an intelligent and articulate woman. She told me that she placed her trust in the medical staff and that if they said that this procedure did not require any pain relief then Bob would be fine. Once Bob became distressed she felt she had no control over the situation and that all she could do was comfort Bob to the best of her ability at that time.

This happened two weeks ago, and prior to the pin removal Bob was always a happy go lucky child with a ready smile and a cheeky sense of humour. Since the procedure he has been having nightmares, being argumentative at school and is scared to play footy or use him arm too much.

For me this story shows that AWCH is still very relevant today and the work we do is still needed.

Ally Hutton
AWCH President

Thanks to Bob and Betty for sharing their story (real names not used)

The Together Stories Series – review

By Trish Dearn, illustrated by Lonica Lee
Children’s Cancer Centre Foundation, Richmond Victoria, 2013. ISBN 9780992334260 (paperback)

Infant school and primary school children who are living with childhood cancer will find “the Together stories” very engaging. The stories may help them to prepare for hospital, life experiences as well as think about ways of coping and building strength through difficult circumstances.

The books are written with made-up characters, from a child’s viewpoint. The familiar language used is what you might find in an Australian home, school or children’s hospital. Trish Dearn draws on her experience as a parent of Charlotte, who journeyed through leukaemia treatment to become a happy healthy girl.
Each book taps into different parts of a child’s cancer journey and feelings are expressed through the challenges. The books focus on adapting, coping and empowering through changes in a child’s health from diagnosis, hospital life and returning after treatment to home, school and community life.
Children will want to read each book cover to cover, finding easy-to-read font and colourful, expressive illustrations. The books are similar in formatting to what you might find in a school reader. They have a practical gloss cover for easy wiping.

The Together stories are simple to read and yet strong in communicating some of the social and emotional hurdles children with childhood cancer face.

The books may be borrowed from the AWCH library, to find out more about each book in the series visit the following links:


Review by: 
Jillian Rattray
AWCH Librarian
July 2014