From cuts and scratches, to scrapes and other physical wounds, life’s little mishaps will happen to your little one at some point in their lives.
When you think about it, it is indeed a young child’s job to “explore” her world. Yes, you’ve childproofed your entire home with cushioned padding and everything feels much safer. But what happens when you travel to a foreign country, and do not have the safety comforts of your home? Not to mention, falls and injuries can actually happen anywhere, even within a childproofed home!
Your child has already learned to run, or is experimenting with something bolder, like skipping, or running backwards. As natural as seeing a romping toddler in action is the instinct of every parent to watch your child as much as possible. But trust me, you will not be able to fully guard your child.
So what happens when your child falls and scraps a knee?
The emotion of a child being very dramatic even with a small scratch is very common. Every parent has had the experience of seeing a minor injury turn into a major drama once their child realises they have a captive audience. This can be especially true with wound treatments that sting or burn – the child knows what’s coming and it adds to their distress. This performance can make treating wounds stressful for the parent, who becomes focused on calming the child rather than the proper steps needed to care for a wound.
Continue reading on the next page...
Here’s some simple steps for parents to note in treating a wound:
First, don’t panic! Stop any bleeding. Use a clean towel or cloth, and apply gentle, but direct pressure to the wound until any bleeding stops. The use of a dark-coloured cloth would make any blood look less scary to your child and you! If it is a minor scrape it will stop bleeding on its own. For deeper cuts, continue to apply pressure with the cloth and elevate the injured body part to slow the bleeding. Distract your child with some stories or songs to calm both down. You'll be tempted, but don't peek when applying pressure! Releasing it before the blood has had time to clot may make the cut bleed faster.
Then flush the wound with more running water for a good 90 seconds to wash away bacteria and to remove dirt, any broken glass or foreign matter. If you need to use tweezers to remove any debris, remember to disinfect it first! If there's no tap, use baby wipes or bottled water until you can get to a bathroom.
Clean it up. If the skin around the cut is dirty, gently wash it with a mild soap — but try not to get soap in the actual wound. Use an antiseptic spray that will help prevent infections from any rubbing or coming into contact with your child’s wound. In particular, look for the active ingredient Povidone Iodine, which is a very effective antiseptic and can be used for the treatment and prevention of infection in wounds including ulcers, burns, cuts and other minor injuries.
Once the bleeding has stopped and the wound is cleaned, you may apply a fresh bandage. Little kids usually like to choose from selection of cute and colorful bandages! Remember to change the bandage at least once a day, or if it gets dirty. If a scab forms, you can remove the bandage, but teach your child not to pick at it.
Continue reading on the next page...
When to call a doctor?
Seek further medical care or emergency attention if the cut or gash is very deep or the edges are widely separated, where sutures (stitches) may be needed.
If the wound won’t stop bleeding, even after you’ve applied direct pressure for ten or 15 minutes.
Blood is spurting (an artery may have been affected).
If it's a puncture wound (often caused by stepping on a sharp object like a nail), which a child is more likely to get on his foot. In this case, ask about a tetanus shot.
If after a day or two, the cut shows visible signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus.
If you like this article, share it with your friends!