Cutting yourself off from time to time is part of a child’s life. And when you’re a kid, it can be anything from playing tag to hide-and-seek. Fortunately, most cuts are minor and can be treated at home. Armed with a first-aid kit, you can deal with many minor incidents at home. In this article from The Dermo Lab and in collaboration with the pediatrician Dr. Hussein Naji, we’ll look at the most common injuries that can happen to your child and the essential tips for treating kids’ wounds safely.
What causes wounds, cuts, and abrasions?
A wound is a break or lesion in the surface of the skin. Minor wounds generally do not require medical attention and can usually be treated with first aid.
Cuts, abrasions, and lacerations are examples of wounds. Cuts are usually caused by a sharp object such as a knife or glass, or even a sheet of paper. Lacerations are deep cuts or tears in the skin – usually with irregular edges.
Abrasions are superficial wounds where the top layer of skin is damaged by friction. Scratches can occur when a child falls from a skateboard or bicycle and their body moves across the ground.
Punctures are deep wounds caused by the penetration of a sharp, pointed object, such as a nail, into the skin. An animal bite can also cause a puncture wound. Puncture wounds don’t bleed much, but they are susceptible to infection.
Surgical wounds are cuts made during surgery – they are usually closed with stitches.
Other types of wounds can be caused by immobility, such as pressure sores and ulcers.
What should a parent do about cuts?
Dr. Hussein Naji insists that parents should familiarize themselves with basic first aid, including CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. It’s essential to recognize signs of distress, have emergency numbers to hand, and a well-stocked first-aid kit. He adds that a child-friendly first-aid kit should include adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, child-sized scissors, tweezers, child-friendly painkillers, and any necessary personal medication. And not to forget the comforting items such as a favorite toy or a small treat.
We recommend that you proceed as follows:
1- Rinse the cut well with water to remove dirt and debris.
You can use a disinfectant spray that cleanses your child’s skin easily and instantly, without causing pain or further damage to the skin.
We recommend the following dermatologically tested formula, suitable for babies, children, and adults alike, thanks to its simple, well-tolerated composition, which contains no alcohol or colorants. It is effective against a wide range of microorganisms.
Ducray Diaseptyl Spray
2- Stop the bleeding.
Cover the wound with a clean gauze or towel and press it with the palm of your hand. If the gauze is soaked, don’t remove it. Put another layer of gauze on top. Maintain pressure for a few minutes after the bleeding has stopped. Try to elevate the wound area, such as the leg or arm.
3- Treat the wound.
Treating kids’ wounds with a cream can speed up the healing process. The wound cream supports and accelerates the natural healing of minor cuts.
We recommend the following creams to help repair your child’s irritated skin and soothe discomfort. Your baby’s skin is immediately soothed from the very first application.
For non-oozing wounds:
Eau Thermale Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream
A-Derma Epitheliale A.H Ultra Soothing Repairing Cream
For oozing wounds:
If your child’s wound is oozing, we recommend drying it with the following A-Derma spray, which drains and decongests oozing skin. It also soothes, calms, and softens the skin in the event of irritation.
A-Derma Cytelium Drying Spray
Once the wound is dry, you can continue with the creams mentioned above.
4- Cover the wound with a clean bandage or clean gauze and tape.
5- Change the dressing every day or whenever it gets wet.
6- Once the wound has crusted over, the dressing is no longer necessary.
Dr. Hussein Naji notes that by remaining vigilant, informed, and well-prepared, parents can create a safer environment for their little warriors, ensuring they grow up healthy and resilient.
What else do you need to know?
Dr. Hussein Naji points out that children are prone to injuries from falls, burns, and cuts. Parents can minimize the risks by protecting children’s homes, using safety gates, securing furniture, and teaching age-appropriate safety rules.
Also, make sure your children wear shoes when playing outdoors and supervise teenagers when they use sharp knives.
Check that your children are up to date with their tetanus vaccination. Tetanus is part of the DTaP vaccine that children routinely receive. The germ responsible for tetanus lives in dirt and can enter cuts. Call his doctor if your child has a dirty cut and you’re not sure when their last tetanus vaccination was. Your child may need a tetanus booster.
Protect cuts from the sun. A tanned or burnt cut will leave a larger scar. Even after a cut has completely healed, the new skin will tan and burn more easily. Covering a healed or healing cut with clothing or sunscreen will make the scar less visible.
When should you consult a doctor?
You can treat most minor wounds, such as cuts and scrapes, by keeping them clean and avoiding infection. Most wounds heal on their own, but you should consult a doctor in the following cases:
- the wound is deep, including punctures, or doesn’t stop bleeding when you apply pressure
- you are unable to properly clean dirt and debris from the wound
- the cut is above a joint
- the wound is more than a few millimeters deep and/or the sides of the cut don’t meet properly. It may be necessary to close them with stitches, tissue glue, or staples.
- the wound is located in or near the eye or on the eyelid and is not superficial
- you notice changes around the wound, such as spreading redness, increasing pain, tenderness or swelling, or oozing pus
- your child has a temperature
- the wound has been bitten, whether by an animal or another human being
- the wound does not heal or heals very slowly
According to Dr. Hussein Naji, children’s bodies are still developing, making their bones and organs more vulnerable. Pediatric care requires a delicate approach, given the psychological impact of injuries on children.
Frequently asked questions to pediatricians
How can I prevent my child’s wound from scarring?
Taking care of the wound and ensuring that your child eats a healthy diet helps all wounds to heal. Protecting the healed wound from the sun for at least a year will prevent the scar from becoming darker. Massaging in a moisturizing cream once the wound has closed can also help healing.
My child has cut his lip and there’s a lot of blood. Should I take him to the doctor?
Some parts of the body receive more blood than others. Parts of the face, including the tongue and lips, often bleed a lot when cut. Parts of the body with good blood supply tend to bleed more at first, but they also heal faster than other parts of the body.
Why are antiseptic lotions and creams not recommended for use on wounds?
Strong antiseptic solutions (e.g. hydrogen peroxide or iodine) should not be used to wash open wounds, as they can damage tissue. Antiseptic creams clean the surrounding skin, but can also irritate wounds, be painful to apply, and delay healing. For these reasons, they are not recommended unless your child’s doctor specifically advises you to use them, because of the cleanliness of the wound or the risk of infection.
Last Updated on February 16, 2024