Cuts and grazes are a quite a common thing when there are busy hands and feet scurrying across the living room. Jumping from the coffee table, diving head first from the bed, walking around with a sheet over their head, bumping into corners and the list could go on. Most children who are up to date with their tetanus shots do not require a visit to the ED except if they are bleeding profusely.

So what do you do in case of minor bumps, cuts or grazes. Read to find out more.

  • First and foremost if there are any visible particles in the wound, try removing it gently, 
  • Apply pressure on the injured area with a clean cloth that you can find.
  •  Depending on the location of the cut a simple thing like raising it can help a lot.

Raising the affected area above the heart level is key to stop  blood flow and helps clot faster. This is easier if the cut is in the hand. However, if the cut is in the legs, a helpful tip is to lie down and then to raise the injured leg above the heart level.

  • When the bleeding has stopped, gently clean it. Be very gentle, or else there is a mighty chance the bleeding could start again.
  • To clean it you can use water, there is no need to use any fancy antiseptic on the open wound. It could delay healing. Leave all that to the professionals.
  • After cleaning the wound with water, gently pat the area dry.
  • Apply a sterile adhesive dressing like a plaster. 

Does your cut need stitches?

You may need stitches in case of the following:

  • Even after applying pressure for 10 minutes, if the bleeding does not stop.
  • If the cut is quite long and deep.
  • If the cut is uneven or has jagged edges like in the case of an animal bite.
  • If there is loss of any fingers or any body part as a result of a deep cut.  Do the following:
    • Wrap the injured area in a clean, sterile cloth or dressing whichever is available to prevent infection.
    • Apply pressure on the injured body part to help stop bleeding.
    • Wrap the severed part in a clean damp cloth. Place the wrapped body part in a sealed plastic bag and then place it in a bag of ice cold water preferably an ice water bath. 
    • Never put the severed body part directly in water or into ice. This could destroy the cells in the severed body part making the reconstruction next to impossible. 

Signs the wound is infected

  • Swelling in the wound.
  • Fever, or feeling unwell.
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Pus formation in the wound.
  • Pain that seems to get worse.

 If there is even a slight chance of infection, doctors may prescribe antibiotics.

First aid for minor head injuries in children

In case your kid bumps their head, follow the first aid for minor cuts and grazes as described above.

In addition to that, ice the area and then ice it repeatedly after about an hour to reduce pain and swelling.

Warning signs that you need to call the doctor.

  • If the child is crying inconsolably even after a considerable time
  • Vomiting
  • If the child complains of headache
  • If he/she fell from a height greater than three feet
  • If the child is not breathing
  • In case of a seizure
  • If the child is hard to wake up
  • Acting confused and shows sensitivity to light and noise is also a sign of concussion
  • Walking all wobbly
  • Bleeding cant be stopped
  • If your baby has a dent in the skull or a lot of swelling.
  • If the fontanelle on baby's head looks all sunken.

Be safe and child proof your home to help soften the blows. Better safe than sorry.