Kids get cuts and bruises all the time. This is because they are naturally curious and they often like to do things like climb in and on everything they see, wrestle, roll around etc. Falling is a normal part of growth. Fortunately, most falls are not serious and result in only a few cuts and bruises.
Treating cuts and wounds at home
Most cuts and scratches can be easily treated at home. You can follow the steps mentioned below:
Stop the bleeding
- To stop the bleeding, apply pressure on the affected area for a few minutes. Use a clean and dry towel or handkerchief to do so.
Clean the wound
- Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.5
- Clean the wound by putting the affected area under cool running water to remove any dirt or small rocks.
- Pat the area dry with a clean towel. Avoid using cotton wool as it can leave fibres in the wound.1,5
- To avoid getting any more dirt in the wound, always remember to wipe away from the wound, rather than wiping towards it.1
Apply a dressing
- Keep the wound moist by applying a thin layer of a plain moisturiser or ointment.1,6 Also check with your doctor before using any antiseptic ointments.
- Apply a sterile, non-stick dressing to cover the wound.1,5
Taking care over the next few days1
- Keep the wound clean.
- Wash, moisturise and change the dressing daily to help the crust heal.
- Leave the wound open after 2-3 days
- When your child is taking a bath, take off the dressing and let the water run over the wound.
- Keep reminding your child not to pick at the crust. Risk of infection and scarring increases if the crust breaks. The crust will eventually fall off on its own.
Contact your doctor
You should take your child to a doctor if 1,5,6
- The cut doesn’t stop bleeding even after you’ve applied firm pressure for about 10 minutes.
- The wound is deep and may require stitches.
- You see a lot of dirt, or pieces of wood, metal or glass in the abrasion
- The wound has jagged edges.
- You’re unsure whether your child is up to date with their tetanus shot.
- The wound has become infected (i.e. there is swelling, redness and increasing pain in the affected area, pus formation in or around the wound, your child is feeling unwell or has a fever).
- Raising Children Network (Australia). Abrasions [Internet]. Available at: https://raisingchildren.net.au/guides/a-z-health-reference/abrasions. Accessed on Mar 5, 2020.
- The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Safety: Preventing falls [Internet] Available at: https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Preventing_Falls/. Accessed on Mar 5, 2020.
- Raising Children Network (Australia). Rough play: what it is and why children do it [Internet]. Available at: https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/play-learning/active-play/ro.... Accessed on Mar 5, 2020.
- World Health Organization. UNICEF. Children and falls [Internet]. Available at: https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/child/injury/world_report.... Accessed on Mar 5, 2020.
- National Health Service. Cuts and grazes [Internet]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cuts-and-grazes/. Accessed on Mar 5, 2020.
- Cleveland Clinic. How to Treat 10 Common Playground Injuries [Internet]. Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/treat-10-common-playground-injuries/. Accessed on Mar 5, 2020.