The magic of Band-Aids and mom-healing

We have gone through a lot of Band-Aids in our house in the past seven years.

In fact, for my son’s fourth birthday, his preschool teacher bought him three boxes of Band-Aids. She thought that might last him the rest of the month. 

It’s not that my children are particularly accident-prone. I consider only 2 trips to the ER in seven years as a pretty good record for two rambunctious boys, all things considered. And we have escaped the stitches and broken bones that so often plague young children who prefer to swing from tree branches and monkey bars rather than sit quietly with their choo-choo trains or coloring books.

Believe me, I resisted at first. After all, at $2.99 a box, my Target bill was skyrocketing. From Mickey Mouse to Lightening McQueen to the Muppets, our medicine cabinet was always fully stocked. So when my son, at the age of 2, would come to me in tears with not a scratch in sight, I would protest. “You don’t need a Band-Aid for that little bump! There’s nothing even there! Don’t be silly.” But over time, as I watched my little boy walk away with his head down, tears in his eyes, I had a nagging sense that I was missing something as a mom. How could a $0.15 piece of plastic mean so much to him?

So one day, I just flat out asked him. “Sweetie, why do you want a Band-Aid on your knee? It’s not even bleeding, there’s hardly a scratch!” And with his brown curls shining and big brown eyes filled with tears, he said, “Mommy, when you put it on me, it just makes me feel all better.”

And then it hit me. It had nothing to do with the Band-Aid. He just wanted his feelings to be validated. For me to acknowledge his hurt. To see his pain and to tell him he would be OK. And the Band-Aid? It simply served as an ever-present reminder of his mama’s unconditional love.

Had I known seven years ago what I know now, I would have bought stock in Band-Aids.

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About Dr. Kristie Rivers, Bundoo Pediatrician

Dr. Kristie Rivers is an Attending Physician, Assistant Medical Director of the Pediatric Hospitalist Program, and Director of Pediatric Medical Education at a children’s hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She cares for hospitalized children and also teaches pediatric residents and medical students.


  1. This post stuck with me. This morning, my daughter complained of six ailments before school. Instead of a quick “I’m sure you’ll be okay,” I took the time to kiss those boo-boos and offer a band-aid. It’s amazing when you see the solace that comes from these little moments. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I’m in tears! I’ll never look at a Band-aid the same way again. Thank you for putting the seemingly irrational thought of needing one for every bump, scrape, or scratch into perspective! Beautiful. 🙂


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