When treating a child that has sustained injuries, specifically open wounds, it is not much different from treating an adult. After all, you’re treating a human, not an octopus-snail hybrid. This in no way means that the biology of an adult and a child are the same. Children have frail, delicate bodies and skin that makes it necessary to be even more careful when treating their wounds. Today I will teach you what the most common child injuries are and what to do when your child is injured.
1) An open wound
There are three things that need to be accomplished when dealing with an open wound. First is stopping the bleeding, second is ensuring that the wound is disinfected to prevent any further complications such as infections and third is dressing the wound properly.
Usually, bleeding that arises from small cuts can be stopped simply by taking a wet cloth and applying pressure on the wound. The pressure causes the blood to accumulate in that area and begin to clot, forming a literal blood barrier that stops the bleeding. For wounds with a large surface area though, and the bleeding cannot be stopped, visit a doctor immediately to seek medical treatment.
Disinfection of wound
For disinfection, you might be tempted to just grab any alcoholic beverage in your fridge and pour it over the wound under the assumption that that would disinfect it, similar to the scene in ‘The Good Doctor’ where Dr Shaun Murphy pours whiskey over a kid’s stomach. Do note that this should only be done under the premise that there are no proper disinfectants available, and this is extremely unlikely to properly disinfect a wound if the alcohol percentage of the beverage is low. If anything, it might make things even worse, as sugars, yeast and other chemical compounds do not guarantee a clean wound and complicate things. The higher the alcohol percentage, the more likely and closer it is to function as a proper disinfectant. It would be better to use isopropyl alcohol(also known as rubbing alcohol). Simply ensure the entire wound is poured over with it to properly disinfect the wound.
Finally, apply some antibiotic ointment and cover the wound entirely with a bandage. This ensures your child does not pick at the wound and also prevents the wound from being infected by external bacteria. Keep the wound clean, and change the bandage every day. If there is pus or the wound begins to swollen, consult a doctor immediately.
Additional note: Any wound that was caused by an animal should be seen by a doctor immediately.
Do not tilt your head back, as people commonly do. Sure, it does stop blood running out of your nose, but instead, it’ll go down your throat and swallowing blood can irritate your stomach, causing vomiting. Ask your child to sit upright and tilt his head slightly forward. Pinch the bottom of his nose and apply pressure for ten minutes, and do not release until the ten minutes is up. If the bleeding does not stop, consult a doctor immediately.
3) Insect sting
If your child has been stung by a wasp, bee or insect, do not remove the stinger with tweezers or your fingers. You might be tempted to visit the A&E department, but usually, it is not necessary. Use the tip of your fingernail to ‘flick’ the stinger out. Do not squeeze the stinger as it might release venom into your child’s body. If your child has an allergic reaction, has trouble breathing or his skin is excessively red, it would be wise to receive medical attention immediately.
For mild burns, applying a cold wet cloth or an ice pack against the burn area can lessen the pain for your child and cause the swelling to subside. Use bandages to cover any blisters, and give the wound time to heal. If the burn is deep(usually indicated by dry skin), covers a significant area of your child’s body or is located in important parts such as the face or genitals, go to the A&E department immediately to receive medical attention. Remember, do not pop blisters yourself as that can not only hinder recovery from the burn but also leave permanent scars. Being careful about hot food and liquids can also prevent any accidental burns that might occur.