The Band-Aid Addiction

I’ve ignored it for long enough.

I’ve turned a blind eye, I’ve laughed about it and I’ve even supported it. But the time has come for me to face the truth. The ugly truth.

My four year old has an addiction… And, it’s all my fault.

It started innocently enough.”I have a boo-boo,” he pronounced, last year, his eyes welling with tears. I inspected his knee, but there was no cut nor scrape to be found.In an effort to halt the tears and get on with dinner making, I offered up a Captain America adorned piece of plastic.

“Feel better?” I asked as I kissed his grass stained skin.

Yes, he nodded. All better.

And, that was all it took. In an instant, an addict was born.

Lily and Ben were different. Stronger, you might say. They understood the difference between a cut which required bandaging and one which was completely fabricated.  They could resist the call of Johnson & Johnson from the medicine cabinet. They enjoyed seeing their fingertips and toes. Their eyes didn’t light up at a new character adorning a box or the medicine cabinet at a friend’s house. Evan, however, wasn’t so lucky.

The evidence is everywhere. I find discarded, dirty bandages on the floor, stuck to my jeans and wadded up in my sheets. Over the summer, he developed tan lines according to which imaginary injury he was covering. There are crumpled up wrappers littering my bathroom floor, evidence of the haste with which application took place. He cries when they are yanked off, but immediately asks for a replacement. He simply can’t resist their allure, and I simply can’t resist buying them.

So, here we are, with a half-box a day habit and nobody to blame but me.

Well, me, and the person who thought of putting damn characters on Band-Aids to begin with.

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Danielle 4 years ago

Haha- I think my husband suffers from the same affliction!!

Sarah 4 years ago

I recently implemented the “No Blood, No Band-aid” policy in my house, for our band-aid dependent 3-yo. A few more tears, a lot less rummaging through drawers for a band-aid for every little thing. We use “boo boo bunny” instead now (bunny-shaped ice pack).

Tricia 4 years ago

My teenager had a band aid habit as a preschooler. I tried to discourage it but MIL heard me . Guess what she gave her for her next bday? You got it LOTS of band aids

AGuy 4 years ago

I’ve never bought into that, as I’ve always found a waste of money. Even if they cried. If there’s no blood, you don’t need a bandaid. However, grandma is a different story, which I find frustrating. She’s encouraging the whining, which is obviously helping no one.

Dawn Martinello 4 years ago

Not only does my 5 year old love band-aids … whether they have characters or not … but he loves to put them on his stuffed cat too. Try retching those things off of a stuffie after it’s been through the washer and dryer.

Pam 4 years ago

just saw yesterday that they now have bandaids in the shape of bacon….now the big boy babies will be happy too!

June O’Hara 4 years ago

I’m addicted to wooden stick Q-Tips. My boyfriend says they could rupture and eardrum and, if mishandled, could easily cause brain damage. I don’t care. I love how they feel in my ears and they make them feel spectacularly clean.

I’m totally addicted.

Sara 4 years ago

I have the same situation going on in my house. With my 3-year-old Evan. I find Curious George band aids and wrappers everywhere. Sigh.

HeatherD 4 years ago

My daughter is 2, and would be addicted to band-aids if I would let her. For the longest time (which really was like 6 months), she was afraid of band-aids, since the only time we had used one on her, her knee hurt, so she associated the pain with the band-aid. In comes the cut on the bottom of her foot that needed a band-aid if we ever wanted it to heal. I cajoled and pretty much bribed her into letting me put one on, showing her that the band-aid didn’t hurt. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the moment that the band-aid addict got her first taste of the awesomeness that is the character band-aid. Now every time she even vaguely bumps anything her response is, ‘Owie, need band-aid.’ I quickly implemented the ‘if there is no blood, you get no band-aid’ rule, which she doesn’t like, but thankfully doesn’t yet have enough language to argue against. I’m hoping she will be broken of the lure of the band-aid before she can form a valid argument, because I’m sure one exists.

Debbie – Wrinkled Mommy 4 years ago

Same thing here. I wish I had that many choices in my cabinet! We are always out. But when one of mine has a “real” boo boo, these character band aids stop the tears faster. That’s one good thing about them. But my kids also fabricate their Injuries and I end up with discarded ones on my butt, sock, or stuck on the floor somewhere.

Erin I’m Gonna Kill Him 4 years ago

It’s a rough cycle. You’re gonna have to go cold-turkey with the plain beige ones.

Kir 4 years ago

oh yes, my boys are exactly the same. I have seen them actually “try to give themselves a boo boo” so I will give them a bandaid, almost like they enjoy being hurt. it’s an interesting addiction, they accessorize with band aids, who knew our children were so FASHION FORWARD??? :) xo

Alexandra 4 years ago


This made me laugh.


Because it’s our home.

So funny, so normalizing, I have to link it up today on my Best of THE Internet today.

LOVE how you just let us into your home, Jill.

Warts and Elmo band aids and all.

Kimmer (Momma Rock) 4 years ago

Oh my friggin’ goodness! I so know this addiction! Along with my little darling grandbaby saying the consistent “why” about everything, she loves her band-aids.
Love your blog, I will be back to read more!

Leanne 4 years ago

Same over here. So we started buying plain band-aids and the fun stopped, and then I was sad. :(

The Cheeky Kea 4 years ago

I have an ice-pack addict. Our local Kindergarten is very PC and seems to think that children will suffer from Post-traumatic stress if they are not wrapped in cotton wool. Every little bump gets the ice-pack treatment, then a form is filled out, which I have to sign when I arrive at pick up time. I also receive my own special copy of the form to cherish. As a result, my once tough as nails and fearless wee girl (or The Unscarable Mikayla Monster as she calls herself) is now a big old sook who screams for the ice-pack several hundred times a day.

Nikki 4 years ago

Can totally relate to this. My youngest changes the frickin band aid every hour for a paper cut! Lol

Crystal 4 years ago

I had a Band-Aid addict, too, at one time. And I have to say, it sucked finding them wadded up in freshly washed clothes or to have them suddenly sticking to your toes after crawling IN bed. Ewwwww. He’s 19 now and completely over it. There’s hope. :)

Shari 4 years ago

My son too has this problem…When he was younger he couldn’t stand to keep a band-aid on now he can’t do without one. And i too am to blame… He cleaned us out of them and when we got some more I found a ball wound up in the corner and even a few on his cousins Care Bear

Lawchyck 4 years ago

So glad I am not the only one! I thought we needed to stage an intervention because it was getting out of hand and I thought there was no one else out there with a kid so addicted to band-aids.

Delfin Joaquin Paris III 4 years ago

I think I’ve gone 17 years without the need for a band-aid. I guess when I have kids I’ll have to break down a buy a pair or two. Did they ever figure out that black people probably want black band-aids? If they don’t exist, I’m quitting my job and being the black band-aid business guy. I just need to find a black person and do some product testing.

    millions2 4 years ago

    This was probably solved with the invention of the clear band-aid.

      Delfin Joaquin Paris III 4 years ago

      Holy crap – you’re right. It sounds like somebody’s vying for a the position of Brand Manager in my band-aid company!

buffyclaire 4 years ago

I’ll never forget the day my little nephew learned that he could have as many band-aids as he wanted at my house. And I’ll never forget his mom’s face when she came to pick him up and he was covered in band-aids. It went from pure fear that he was badly injured straight to pure exasperation that I introduced him to yet another annoying habit. Good thing she loves me deep down. :)

Alyssa 4 years ago

Yeah, sounds like my boy. My oldest is good unless it’s really bleeding, but my youngest… yeah, the tiniest measure of red fluid escapes his body, and it’s panic mode. :)

Mrs. Yoy 4 years ago

Bandaids are glorified stickers. That’s why my kids love them so.

Donnamay 4 years ago

At least its a cheap, sugar-free, caffeine-free, TV-free addiction!

Shannan 4 years ago

Two words: dollar store.

millions2 4 years ago

I don’t think the band-aid addiction is your fault since your other kids don’t really seem to care. I always pay special attention to addictive tendencies because they aren’t healthy. Everything from too much TV, or video games…to band-aids. It’s just not a good idea to obsess over inanimate objects, or enable those addictive tendencies.

As we grow older, it’s hard to realize when we have had too much of something. I’m guilty of it and sometimes catch myself when i’m getting “too into” something. It means it’s time to pull away. So, I’d start pulling the band-aids away unless actually needed, and swap the colorful characters for the traditional beige band-aids.

Vanessa 4 years ago

Ok, so band-aids used to be magic at my house, too.

Then I found out that a wet paper towel has nearly the exact same magical properties as a band-aid! They are temporary, entirely appropriate, and work . . . well, like magic!

Elaine 4 years ago

Maybe he’s going to be a doctor…?!?! lol

Deb 4 years ago

The whole family is addicted to bandaids. We are ALWAYS running out. I need to stock up…and get a little more stylish.

Brigid 4 years ago

As I was reading this post my 4 1/2 year old came in crying that she needed a band-aid! HA! No joke. It was a true reason (this time), but my 4 1/2 year old shares your son’s addiction. :)

Brook 4 years ago

Band Aids are magic.
If that’s all it takes to cure most “wounds,” I’m all over it. I just buy them at the Dollar Store. They’ll grow out of the addiction.

Heather Charpiat 4 years ago

How Are you? :o)
Don’t we all know a Bandaid makes any boo boo feel better? ;o) I think we have 7 varieties on the shelf right now….
Not sure if you remember the Klebaskos from TYS, but sweet Alyssa was diagnosed with ALL leukemia last January. They are doing a bandaid drive for the kids at Johns Hopkins… see here:
Maybe Evan would want to contribute some of his favorite characters to help?
Hope you are well!!

The Mommy 4 years ago

I have three addicts in my house! Their habit is breaking me….

Jeni Kramer 4 years ago

All it took was a box of Finding Nemo bandaids and my son was hooked. Love this post!

thedoseofreality 4 years ago

My four year-old has not met a Band-Aid she does not love. Mickey Mouse. Sure. Sparkle bandage. Even better. Disney Princesses. Don’t even stop her. I, too, have a bathroom littered with first-aid packaging for very “severe injuries” that are only visible to her.
Great post!

Kelly @ In the Mom Light 4 years ago

Haha, I have a friend whose child gets them as rewards for potty training because she loves them so much. She said she gets stares in public when her daughter is covered in bandaids like they abuse her or something lol

shama-mama 4 years ago

At one point, my sister and i were discussing bying stock in bandaids!

momofteengirls 4 years ago

I too, had children suffering for acute band-aid addictions. I realized it had reached a critical point when a family member asked “What would the girls like for for Christmas and my completely serious response was: “Band-aids” …. all they really want is band aids”

Mom Off Meth 4 years ago

I have yet to meet a four year old without a band aid addiction. Band aids are cool!

Alison 4 years ago

My 3 1/2 year old daughter is a band-aid addict too! I’m trying to limit her to 2 a day, but failing. She even puts band-aids on her little brother. We go through a few boxes a week here.

Meggan 4 years ago

So funny that you would post this today because I was thinking about this very thing, or the opposite actually, this morning. I have 5 kids, age ranges from 10 months to 9 years. We use a bandaid or two a year. That’s right, we are not bandaid people. Our cupboards are full of them, we probably have at least 8 boxes. When the kids get hurt they just jump up and continue on their way and the blood dries. I remember using band aids as a kid so I’m not sure when I forgot about them and failed to pass them onto my own kids. I guess now I don’t have to worry about weaning an addict. :)

Lorilee 4 years ago

Hilarious! You have very aptly described my second child. Thanks for the laugh today!

Ginger Kay 4 years ago

I don’t want to scare you, but I have a fourteen year old who still thinks she needs band-aids for paper cuts.

Melinda 4 years ago

ha my kids the same way. I have about 20 boxed of open, half gone boxes. My daughter freaks if she has a little make, and it needs a bandaid to make it better. The other night I put her to bed with 3 on and she woke up with them on her head because she said she hit her head on her pillow so she needs the bandaid on them instead. She 3!

Stacy 4 years ago

Holy cannoli exactly the same here. I find the wrappings everywhere and am constantly buying boxes of them. It’s my youngest and my third who has this obsession. Glad I’m not the only one.

Debbie Saraceno 4 years ago

Thirty years ago when I was a young mommy when the kids got an owey they didn’t have fancy band aids do I would draw on them with the sharpie and they loved that.. So I can’t imagine how it is now.. Best wishes mom’s..

Jennifer R 4 years ago

I am so there with you all. My husband doesn’t understand it. It’s not just my 6 year old daughter. I have to confess I am one too. Everytime I see new ones out I get them for her. I hope I wasn’t like this when I was younger.

Jennifer 4 years ago

And I thought my four year old had a problem… At least it isn’t a half a pack a day. 😉

Michelle 4 years ago

We have an addict here too *sigh*. She is 3 1/2 I have to hide all band-aids at our house, along with lotion, sanitizer, wipies, boxes of kleenex, tape of any kind, stickers, markers, the list goes on…

Breeana 4 years ago

Embrace it, I say. Band-Aids are cheap entertainment, and they make great stocking stuffers. Pick up boxes of the cheapest cute ones you can find (they go on clearance at Target), and you’ll never be at a loss when you need a random present for someone’s three-year-old.

    Karen 4 years ago

    Exactly! A box for the stocking, a box for the Easter basket, a box from the Tooth Fairy…

      Breeana 4 years ago

      As an added bonus to the “gift” Band-Aids — I placed no restrictions on their use at all, and these days my five-year-old mostly uses them for real injuries. Hours of playing with them gave her great skill in opening and applying them, and half the time now, for minor scrapes, she cleans it up and puts a Band-Aid on without me ever knowing. (Until I find the crumpled wrapper in the bathroom, of course.)

      Donnamay 4 years ago

      Oh No! The tooth Fairy has to give presents too??? Ackkkkk!

Kim 4 years ago

LOL. All of my kids have suffered from the same thing. The only cure, I’m afraid, is time!

Michelle 4 years ago

My 2 1/2 year old is the same way! Every other bump, ‘Oh ‘no! I bleeding! I bleeding! I need a band aid!’ However, no blood in sight. Not even a mark. I’ve been trying to wean her, but sometimes it’s just too difficult to listen to the constant whining.

    Erica 4 years ago

    My 4yo does the same thing almost every time he falls or gets a bump. I stopped buying the character band aids because he changes them every 5 minutes and puts 4 band aids on a “boo boo” the size of a pinprick.
    Then, for a nasty scrape that he got when he tripped and fell onto carpeting after racing around a tiled cafeteria at full speed, all he wants are “Mommy’s band aids” because they are bigger and stay on longer, even though they look boring.

just JENNIFER 4 years ago

I see your character bandage addicted kid and raise you a plain ole bandage addicted kid! Oh yes, my 6 1/2 year old doesn’t care if there are characters on them. Now what do I do with THAT??

Stephanie 4 years ago

I’m pretty sure I’M going to be the Band-Aid addict. They’re just so cute. And Momma loves stickers. I avoid them in stores already because I’m afraid I’ll buy one of everything.

    Sarah 4 years ago

    Me too!!! My husband makes fun of me for wanting to buy every new box of Band-Aids I see. I wear them proudly, though I’m pretty sure my 8th-graders think I’m a world-class nerd :)

Amanda 4 years ago

My daughter is 2 and even if she gets a cut or scrape that requires a bandaid, she won’t wear one. She on the other hand has developed her father’s lovely addiction to PICKING at all her cuts and scrapes and even to poke at her bruises constantly. I don’t know but I guess somewhere in the middle between my child and your child there has to be a happy medium we could find…..

Julie 4 years ago

My 3.75 year old accessorizes with BandAids. I totally get it.

Ali 4 years ago

I kid you not…I have a DRAWER of band aids. Nothing else in it. Just band aids.What kind of sane individual has a drawer dedicated to band aids? And the worst part: I am a band aid kibosher – I never let them have band aids unless it’s a mortal wound. What am I saving them for?

Myndee 4 years ago

We would have that problem if I remembered to buy band aids.

    Becky 4 years ago

    Hahahah.. same here.

Rebeccah 4 years ago

Oh yes, my son also falls victim to the siren song of the band aid…I’ve finally just quit buying anything but the boring ones because his habit was unmanageable. 😉


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