How to Treat Cuts and Scrapes in Children

If there is one thing that all children seem to excel at, it is finding new and creative ways to injure themselves. Some children seem to have made it a personal mission to inflict needless pain and injury on themselves, other children merely seem to be setting themselves up for a life of playing extreme sports.

Regardless of your background, or how well you try and raise your children, there are always going to be some injuries and accidents. Thankfully, these are usually not severe, but it is important that parents know how to react appropriately when these situations come up. Some things can appear to be very serious, when in fact they are relatively minor injuries.

In other cases, however, potentially serious injuries can be missed because parents don’t know the warning signs to look out for. Cuts are the kind of injury which often involve blood and for some people the sight of blood is enough to cause a panic. But most of the time, unless there is a significant amount of blood or a serious accompanying injury, cuts and scrapes are nothing to worry about.

How to Treat Cuts and Scrapes

The first thing that you need to do is stop the bleeding that is present. Usually, even if there is a reasonable amount of blood, the actual bleeding as measured by blood flow will be minor. Do not apply any dressings until you have managed to stop the bleeding.

Apply pressure to the wound, making sure that you use a dry and absorbent material, and one that is clean obviously. Any material that matches that description will work fine, such as bandages, towels, and handkerchiefs. Keep applying pressure for a few minutes before you release it to check on the wound.

If the cut has ben sustained to either the hand or the arm, you should raise the affected area above your head in order to reduce the flow of blood to the area.

On the other hand, if the injury has been sustained to one of the lower limbs, you should lie down and raise the affected limb so that it is above the level of your heart.

Once you have managed to stop the bleeding, it is then time to clean and dress the wound. You need to make sure that you wash and dry your hands thoroughly before you go anywhere near an open wound. Clean the wound with drinking quality water, it doesn’t matter whether it comes from the tap or a bottle. It is advised that you do not use antiseptics as this can cause damage to the skin and can result in slower healing.

Once you have washed the area, pat it dry using a dry and clean towel. You should then apply some sterile adhesive dressing if you have any. If you would like to know more about applying dressings, you can find more information here.

When to Seek Further Help

If you suspect that a wound has become infected, or is at risk of doing so, then you should visit a walk-in clinic or consult your physician. A wound is at risk of becoming infected if it becomes contaminated with dirt, bodily fluids, gravel, glass, or any foreign object.

You should also seek help if the wound is longer than 2 inches in length or has a jagged edge to it. If so, this is one of the times when you need stitches.

If a wound is caused by the bite of a human or any animal, you need to seek medical assistance. Should you notice any swelling or discoloration of the wound in the future, this indicates that it has become infected and requires urgent medical attention.

When to Call an Ambulance

You should call an ambulance and seek emergency medical advice if you find that you are unable to stop the bleeding. If your child has received a cut to the palm of their hand then you need to make sure that there are no foreign objects left in there as infections that spread from here are particularly deadly. If there is significant damage to surrounding tissue, this is also a cause to seek emergency treatment.

It can be scary when your child receives their first few cuts and scrapes, but after a while you will find them routine. It is important to know what the signs of a serious wound are, but it is also important to remember that most wounds are minor and easily treated.

Thanks to Ana

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