First aid at home: taking care of cuts & grazes

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Knowing basic first aid is a must for all caregivers. It’s inevitable that your child will eventually experience some form of injury, be it from falling off a bicycle or simply tripping over something. Providing proper wound care will help you avoid infection and ensure proper healing of their wounds.

First aid: how to take care of grazes in children

Roasties, scrapes, grazes, whatever you want to call them, are part of being a kid and, as caregivers, knowing how to handle them properly is of the utmost importance. Grazes may look superficial and do not bleed much, but they do hurt and can turn nasty if they become infected.

  • First things first, you will need to wash your hands before dealing with your child’s injury to ensure no bacteria comes into contact with the wound.
  • Many grazes will contain dirt or gravel that can lead to infection if left, so wash the injured area with soap, clean water and cotton. You may wish to clean the wound with an antiseptic solution.
  • Be sure to use a cotton pad instead of a cotton wool ball, as the cotton fibres may adhere to the wound.
  • Leave the wound uncovered. Clean wounds can be left to heal without any further treatment – and they will heal more quickly if they are left uncovered for the first 24 hours.
  • A crust will appear over the wound over the next few days. Ensure that your child understands that they should not pick at this crust.

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First aid: how to take care of cuts in children

Cuts go deeper than grazes and can cause more bleeding. If not excessive, attempt to stop the bleeding by applying light pressure to the wound using a clean cloth. Raising the injury will also slow down the bleeding.

Clean the area the same way you would a graze and apply a waterproof dressing. Cuts, unlike grazes, should be covered.

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Cuts & grazes: when to seek medical help

  • You are having trouble cleaning the wound.
  • The cut is more than a centimetre long.
  • The cut gapes open.
  • The bleeding does not stop.
  • You feel a level of uncertainty.
  • The wound has become infected.

If the wound has not begun to heal within two days, it may be infected and may require some assistance.

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Signs of wound infection:

  • There is increased tenderness and swelling.
  • There is swelling and redness around the wound.
  • The wound area feels warm.
  • You have noticed pus seeping out the wound.
  • Fever and feeling unwell.

Remember, what may look like a small and painless wound can be quite traumatic for a child. Be sure to offer comfort to help alleviate your child’s stress when these bumps, bruises, cuts and grazes occur.

Tip: Whipping out a funky band-aid may help to get you on the right track to helping cheer up your little wounded soldier!

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