I’m scarred – literally. Between knee operations and running into the evil tea cart, my legs are scarred, but I don’t care. I was just thinking about it, though, because this week the inevitable happened: we took Charlotte to the emergency room for stitches after she fell and hit her head on the corner of the stair. I phoned the pediatrician first, who said if I went to the children’s hospital, they’d get someone from plastics in to ensure she didn’t have a scar. I don’t live close to them, and there’s no way I was going there in rush hour traffic when there were other options closer.

But the statement that stuck with me was that they’d call in plastics specifically because she’s a girl. That was when I was reminded of my second knee operation. My orthopedist told me that he would just do one long incision if I were a boy, but being a girl he wanted to leave a prettier scar and so would do two smaller incisions. I honestly didn’t care about the scars. As it was, his plan to leave nice scars backfired when I had an allergic reaction to the steri-strips. My scars definitely aren’t thin little lines, but they don’t bother me.

No, what bothers me is the idea of treating the injuries different purely because of one’s sex. We focus enough on the appearance of girls. I feel an injury should be treated the same, whatever the gender. I wish they could’ve used the dermabond on her, but only because it’s easier than stitches, and less painful, but it just wasn’t closing well enough with that. That it often leaves a neater scar is incidental, to me.

4 thoughts on “Scarred

  1. I know in OH, they call in plastics regardless of sex for little one. We have friend's whose child was bit on the nose by a dog and the ped referred them to a plastic surgeon. 2 surgeons recommended scar revision and 1 against it. His scar is barely noticeable without surgical intervention

  2. Yeah, I'd have been against plastics for this anyway. Maybe they would've said the same thing for aboy, but some kept saying they especially wanted to avoid a scar for a girl. Sigh.

  3. Aedan has had two facial injuries that required an ER visit. One at age 5 on his nose and one at age 14 between his eyebrows. The first they were able to glue as it was small and a suture would have puckered. The second required 6 sutures. We were given the option of plastics being called in to do it. But given his age of 14, anyone with good suture skills could do a nice job since there was no wiggle factor. So the pediatric ER doc sewed him up. His gender was irrelevant to the treatment. So although your experience was unfortunate, I don't think this gender bias is the case in every hospital. In the end, it is just like anything else regarding children….you always have to be vigilant for times when you must advocate for your child.

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