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Posted at 10:56 AM ET, 08/12/2010

Tree falls on baby in Chevy Chase

By Washington Post editors

It started as a parent’s worst nightmare: Howling winds outside and a crashing sound.

Robert Anderson and his wife Betsy ran upstairs to find Jaymes, their two-month old son, in his crib covered with parts of a tree that had crashed through the ceiling of their Chevy Chase, Md. home along with pieces of slate roofing, brick and insulation. “I just ran over and started throwing stuff off of him,” said Robert Anderson.

He rinsed Jaymes off in a sink, and the boy began to cry. “OK,” he thought, “crying is probably a good sign.”

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The tree, planted in a neighbor’s backyard behind their home near the intersection of Ellingson and Colston drives, fell across a fence into their two-story home sometime around 7:30 a.m. as severe thunderstorms moved through the region, Robert Anderson said.

By 10 a.m., Jaymes had been taken to an area hospital by his mother, given a CAT scan and appeared fine apart from minor scratches, according to Robert Anderson.

In the aftermath of the incident, Robert Anderson was at a neighbor’s home with his two-year-old daughter Caroline. “What happened to little dude?” asked Caroline, calling her brother by his nickname. “Mommy took him to the hospital to make sure he’s okay,” her father replied, setting her at ease.

-- Dan Morse

By Washington Post editors  | August 12, 2010; 10:56 AM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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A cat scan for an infant is a very questionable decision in the absence of specific indications

Cat Scans are not harmless espeically for infants

Posted by: Vince5 | August 12, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Blessed baby.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | August 12, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@vince5: You have no basis for that comment given that there isn't enough detail in this article to evaluate the medical decision making in this case.

Posted by: crazy2day | August 12, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

In a direct line, from where the tree fell on this house, across East West Hwy, there is a direct line of incredible damage. A tree crushed a house on Spencer, and there must be 25 trees down along Lyttonsville road traveling toward the Brookville industrial park area. Could it be a tornado? It's a straight line of damage...

Posted by: Keytheatre | August 12, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Vince5- um, a tree fell on the baby and you're questioning the hospital doing a CAT scan?!

Posted by: WickedRose | August 12, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Tree removal:$3-$5K
Roof repair:$5-$25K
Additional home repair/renovations:$8-$25K
Cat Scan:$750-$2,500
Knowing that your baby boy is alright (except for a few scratches) after a tree fell on his crib-PRICELESS!

Posted by: overhereontheleft | August 12, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the baby's OK. But "a parent's worst nightmare?" I doubt many parents have nightmares about a tree falling on their babies. It is a journalism cliche, and like most cliches, should be avoided.

Posted by: tracenik | August 12, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

A CT scan for a baby that was crying (indicating he was ok) and only had minor scratches? Thanks for ensuring my insurance rates stay astronomical, clueless parents. Glad your baby is ok (actually I could care less since I don't know you and about a million other babies were born yesterday), but get a grip.

Back before mandatory safety everything my brother fell out of the car in the middle of an intersection because the door flew open (broken latch). This was before carseats. He was 13 months old. Dad stopped the car, walked back to the intersection, picked him up, got him home and washed off the gravel and dirt with the waterhose. Never called a doctor. Now my brother's an astro-physicist with NASA and hates when I tell this story.

Posted by: MSG2 | August 12, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Amazing. A frigging tree falls and could have killed a baby and the reaction ... gee my insurance is not going up... don't use cliche's in a article ... my nuclear physicist brother fell out of a car and my father washed him off with a hose ... where is this friggin world going? Come on people, come back to a civilized society.

Posted by: GaryRosenthal | August 12, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Gary - could haves happen all the time. Could have, but didn't. Those trees could have killed anyone. Flooding could have. Power outages could have. Could haves and what ifs seem to run people's emotions - let's get back to a rational society.

The point is nothing happened to the baby and a rational human being would have noticed that rather than panicking and venturing out into a storm to have unnecessary tests run, that could have harmed the baby more, or they could have been in a wreck due to all the storm damage.

Posted by: MSG2 | August 12, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Please try to keep in mind that these are real people who I'm sure were terrified and following the advice of the doctors and nurses who treated the baby. Criticisms levied here, based on the limited information in this story, are irresponsible and unkind.

Posted by: anon48 | August 12, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

MSG2, callous insensitivity and misanthropic self-importance aren't doing anybody any favors. Is there any reasonable rationale for a complete stranger to insult and call into question the actions of these parents who had the presence of mind to react in an emergency? Going to the hospital is the first thing that a parent should do in that situation. Don't forget the part where the tree, roof, insulation and ceiling collapsed onto an infant. Miraculously, everyone appears to be okay, but standard common sense says there's no way of being certain about that without a medical examination; and regarding the CT scan: external scratches or not, the possibility of internal damage is simply too great of a risk not to investigate. In that case, the hospital absolutely made the right call.

Grossly downplaying the severity of the situation, fabricating facts, and comparing entirely unequal incidents - separated by decades and generations - is an ineffective defense to your prior cynical comments. On the one hand, years ago a toddler tumbled onto gravel, and a father then arbitrarily and recklessly decided that hospitals were a silly novelty for fools. Brush the kid off, he's fine. The point there is: your brother was lucky. On the other hand, a large tree demolished the roof of someone's home and buried a newborn under debris, followed by intelligent, rational parents rightfully having medical professionals examine the child for any injuries, seen or unseen. The point there is: err on the side of caution, especially when your child's life is at stake. Your capacity for compassion is really nobody's business but your own, but try to refrain from infecting the rest of us with your antisocial arrogance. Here's hoping the recent storms didn't harm you or anyone you care about, and merely flooded your basement, ruining your stacks of self-congratulatory journals containing pessimistic rants against the members of your community.

Posted by: dcdoak | August 12, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Now, that's funny.

Posted by: FridayKnight | August 12, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

.. Just wait till the family gets the bill because the Insurance company refuses to cover it.

Posted by: AlbyVA | August 12, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, MSG2. See you next Tuesday.

Posted by: Old_Mose | August 12, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The child was not hurt. The house was damaged (so were a lot of others). Why was this even considered a news-worthy event?

Posted by: MSteele1 | August 12, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Actually, if you live in NW DC or the Bethesda-Chevy Chase-Silver Spring inner area trees falling are in your nightmare range.

Posted by: DogNabit | August 12, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

MSG2 - are you sure you weren't the one ejected from the car instead of your brother?

Posted by: gladiatorgal | August 12, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

If there was one of the known indications for a pediatric CAT scan, no problem.
It's not a question of insurance rates, its a question of the risk of radiation induced cancer. That risk is very high for pediatric cat scans. You don't do that "just to be safe". And yes anyone who suggests a CAT scan for a child should be questioned. What is the indication? Is another, less hazardous scan more appropriate.

Posted by: Vince5 | August 12, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the Pasture of the Commenting Class.

Posted by: m991 | August 12, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Talk about missing the point. A baby was almost crushed and turned out to be okay. Seems a nice bit of news to me. Instead it's blah blah blah about insurance rates and people's dad hosing them off after they fall out of cars (which by the way - seems like your dad wouldn't be winning any Parent of the Year awards....).

Jeez people. I'm happy the little guy was okay. Especially after reading about how the falling tree limb killed the little boy during the storm we had a few weeks ago.

Posted by: dbjackso1 | August 12, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@MSteele1 | August 12, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"The child was not hurt. The house was damaged (so were a lot of others). Why was this even considered a news-worthy event?"

That's right! We don't want any consarn good news in our newspapers! Waste of ink!

Posted by: Raiche58 | August 12, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I was sitting in the parking lot of Temple Shalom on Grubb road this morning during the storm and all of a sudden, the world turned white, like a fog and there was a roar and my truck rocked violently back and forth and felt like it was going to lift up. The tree across the street had it;s top twisted off. Seemed like something strange to me.

Posted by: LindsaysPaint | August 12, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

yeah most of us can save huge on our car insurance by making few simple changes find how much you can save

Posted by: lillypurce12 | August 13, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

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