Childhood is a time of fertile imagination and activity. Children are naturally explorative but at the same time they have under-developed motor skills and with no value for safety. This puts them at high risk for injuries. While scrapes and small cut as are a normal part of growing up, every parent should know how to treat them.
Proper first aid treatment of minor injuries can help prevent infection and promote recovery. Most of these injuries can be treated at home without any further medical advice. However, further medical assistance may be necessary if: a foreign object gets embedded in the wound; the wound becomes infected; the wound is due to animal bite; there is a potential for tetanus and the child is not properly immunized.
First Aid for Minor Wounds
Calm down the child and place him in a position of comfort. Wash your hand before providing first aid treatment.
- Inspect the wound carefully and check if there are any foreign bodies embedded on it.
- If the affected part or the wound is dirty, flush it under running water.
- Gently pat dry the area using a piece of clean, non-fluffy cloth.
- Use antiseptic wipes or gauze swabs to clean the wound. Start from the center going out in circular direction. Make sure you use a fresh swab for every wipe.
- Once the wound is thoroughly clean, place an adhesive dressing to apply pressure and protect the wound from infection.
- If the wound is bleeding, elevate it to help minimize bleeding.
If there is any loose debris, try flushing it off with water or gently dabbing it with clean gauze. If this is unsuccessful or the debris embedded on the wound and removing it is not possible, consider it as a foreign body. Gently cover the wound with clean dressing and secure in place using bandage but do not press on the embedded debris. Elevate the affected part and seek medical assistance.
First Aid for Bruises
A bruise often results from direct impact and is a sign of internal bleeding. Minor bruise can cause pain and discomfort but normally heal fast without any medical treatment.
As the bruise heals, it goes through several physical changes, eventually disappearing after a few days. Initially, the bruise is color red because of the injury to the blood vessels; then becomes blue as the blood is absorbed by the surrounding tissues; then turns brown; and finally fades to white or yellow before it completely disappears.
- Inspect the bruised area for possible sprains or broken bones.
- Apply cold compress to affected site to minimize swelling.
- Elevate the injured part, if necessary.
While most bruises are minor and do not pose any danger, severe bruising may indicate serious internal bleeding – a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. If you notice extensive bruising or if the bruising gradually spreads accompanied with deterioration of the child’s condition, then consider the presence of a serious internal bleeding. Provide first aid treatment for shock, if necessary. Seek medical assistance or bring the child to the emergency department right away.
Every mother should have a basic knowledge in first aid and the ideal place to get this training is by taking either a one day or two day first aid course through the Canadian St Mark James. Visit our locations page for more information about finding a provider near you.