Dealing with Cuts and Scrapes in Toddlers
No Parents want to see their children get hurt. But, getting hurt is a part of life and it is an experience of learning, which every child needs to feel. It is essential for parents to be aware of some first-aid steps for curing their child’s cuts and scrapes. If things go beyond their reach, they may need professional help.
Cuts and scrapes is a part and parcel of the growing years of a playful child. Children are bound to get hurt accidentally while playing and this is something that is unavoidable. Parents can take preventive measures, but they can’t, and should not, control their ever-exploring toddler all the time. However, it is vital for parents to deal with common cuts and scrapes with efficiency. They should also have thorough knowledge on when to seek expert help.
Treating Cuts and Scrapes
- Parents should wash their hands before they touch the affected area.
- If the wound bleeds, apply pressure with fresh bandage or clean towel till the bleeding stops. Raise the affected area to a high level, if possible. For instance, putting the kid’s arm or leg on a pillow. (Note: If the bleeding doesn’t stop for over 10 minutes, you need to get your child to an emergency room.)
- Once the bleeding stops check if there is dirt, glass or any other material clogged in the wound. Try to flush it out with cold water. If that doesn’t help, use tweezers for lifting out the debris carefully. (Note: If there is something deeply penetrated or something large stuck in, don’t try to remove it. It might increase the bleeding. Your child needs immediate professional aid. Also, an important point to note is that the tweezers should be sterile before you use it. For sterilizing it, you need to take some alcohol on a cotton swab and rub it on the tweezers.)
- Wash the wound with antiseptic and pat it dry. Keep the wound open and let it dry.
How to Soothe Down the Pain?
If your child is in extreme pain, give him paracetamol or ibuprofen in smaller doses. However, it is recommended that you should never self-diagnose and give any medicine to the kid, even if they are OTC drugs. A doctor’s consultation is essential. Never give him an aspirin as it can cause Reye’s syndrome. It is a rare condition, but can be harmful.
Times when You would need Doctor’s Assistance
- If the wound is on your toddler’s face. Wounds on face can leave visible scars.
- If an animal or another child, bites your child and tears the skin. These wounds need to be treated by an expert.
- Deep punctured wounds or cuts by harmful objects. For instance, getting pricked by a rusted nail would need tetanus injection immediately.
- Signs of infection, like pus, redness, oozes, swells could need expert help. Antibiotics are prescribed in these cases.
- Warm wounds.
Take your Child to Emergency Care if
- He continues to bleed for more than 10 minutes
- Your child needs stitches
- Wounds are embedded with debris
- A large material is stuck on the skin
When do Cuts need Stitches?
Sometimes due to cosmetic reasons, cuts need to be stitched. Your child could need stitches for:
- Deep and open cuts, especially with jagged edges
- Cuts which are longer than half an inch
- Cuts on faces or areas which are used for stretching and moving. For instance, palm side or fingers.
It is best to get your child’s wound stitched within 8 hours after the cut. This would avoid risks of serious infections and prevent scarring. Get a doctor to examine your child’s wound, as soon as you feel that he needs a stitch. Be aware of these signs that indicate an emergency and take actions accordingly. Remember all this while, you need to keep your cool and respond effectively; without hurrying into anything. You also need to provide emotional support to the kid, as he will be in pain.