Children's Cuts and Scrapes

Kids will be kids and that means getting hurt. For a parent, any time you see your child bleeding is a reason to faint, but you don’t have to. Learning to recognize different cuts and scrapes along with treating them can keep your blood pressure from rising.

When you are outside at the park, on a picnic or away from home elsewhere with the kids, carry a first aid kit. It doesn’t have to be one of those big jobs that look like a suitcase. A smaller one that fits into your purse or glove box is enough. Be sure it contains:

* Bandages
* Antibiotic ointment
* Alcohol pads
* Gauze sponges
* Collapsible cup
* Chewable pain relievers
* Tape

Scrapes

Scrapes are abrasions to the skin. The top layer of skin may have been removed or just a portion of it. If you see some red, the top layer is gone. If it is glassy, then the under layer is still intact. Skin has plenty of blood vessels and nerve endings, especially in the scalp. The presence of a lot of blood can be misleading.

Clean away large pieces of dirt and debris with your hand or a tissue. Use an alcohol swab to remove smaller dirt. These wounds can survive with only a layer of antibiotic ointment. Since deeper skin layers haven’t been breached, the ointment will inhibit bacteria growth and help with pain. If your child is complaining, give them one or two chewable ibuprofen.

Cuts

Cuts can range from nicks to wide gashes. Before you panic, wipe away the debris to see just what you are dealing with. If it is bleeding a lot, hold pressure on the wound. You won’t be able to treat it unless you can stop the bleeding. Most of us have good clotting factors so a few minutes of pressure should start clot formation.

Wash out the cuts with soap and water. The soap will sting but only for a moment. You want to see how deep it goes and if there is anything lodged in the cut.

Be aware that ointments are not for open wounds. If you have a cut, avoid using any type of ointment. When the cut is a nick it can be covered with gauze and taped. The gauze allows the wound to breathe and also heal. Any oozing will wick to the gauze and not gather in the wound.

For deeper cuts where the skin is not coming back together, you need to see a doctor. Still bandage the cut but then seek medical attention. Stitches are probably in order for the wound to heal.

Most cuts and scrapes can be handled by you, a first aid kit, some tissues and maybe a lollipop or two. When cuts are deep, seek medical care for proper wound healing.

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