Kid Injuries: Dealing with Scratches, Scrapes and Sprains

Be it a bloodied knee scrape or all the drama of a finger splinter — your child is going to be heading straight to you to fix it. The catch is, you kind of have to know what to do.

Plus, you’re expected to remain a pillar of strength — and not faint.

Kid injuries come thick and fast while they’re growing up. Firstly because they’re learning and exploring and secondly because they don’t learn the first time. ‘Use your brakes, not your feet to stop the bike’ kind of thing.

So, to help ensure we mums know what we’re supposed to do in times of need, here’s a quick guide in dealing with kids’ injuries. From scratches and scrapes to all the splinters in between — Nurse Mum to the rescue!

Help! what do I do?

First and foremost, as a parent, it’s completely normal to panic. After all, none of us want to see our kids in pain. But be aware that if your child sees you reel back in horror, guaranteed they’re going to start screaming bloody murder because they’ll think whatever it is must be beyond bad. So parents, keep your poker face game STRONG.

Keep cool, calm and collected

Secondly, it’s much easier to keep your cool if you know what you should do in the event of a common injury. Most common injuries don’t require bundling your little one off to the hospital emergency department, which can be distressing for all. However, you should always use your gut instinct and if the situation really is an emergency, then of course, off you go!

kids injuries

7 Common Kids’ Injuries and How to Treat Them

1. Head bumps

Kids have one speed and little fear so bumps to the head are plentiful.

What to do: Providing the child has not lost consciousness or is vomiting (in which case, the advice from the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne is to call an ambulance), you can do the following:

  • Sit or lie your child down and comfort them.
  • Apply a cool compress (such as an ice pack or random bag of frozen peas wrapped in a clean tea towel) to the area to help reduce swelling.
  • Paracetamol may be used to address the headache.
  • Monitor your child.

Once your little one has calmed down, keep a close eye on them. If they don’t seem their usual self or you witness odd changes in behaviour, it’s worth a trip to your local GP. In addition, vomiting, sleepiness, confusion or issues keeping balance can be signs of concussion, in which case you should seek immediate medical advice.

2. Scratches

Be it a scratch from the cat who didn’t want to ride in the doll pram or swiping a tree branch, scratches are the easiest injuries to treat!

What to do:

  • Using warm water, clean the site of the scratch.
  • Pat dry with a clean, soft towel.
  • Dab on a saline solution for good measure.
  • Cover with a Bandaid and give a comforting cuddle.
  • Treatment complete!

kids injuries

3. Splinters

If your kid loves sticks and picking up pieces of wood, knowing how to deal with a splinter is essential. Pesky, tiny, barely-there splinters feel like branches to small people!

What to do:

  • Clean the area with warm water.
  • If the splinter is in the hand or a finger, leave the hands to soak in a basin of soapy warm water for a few minutes; it softens the skin a little for swifter splinter removal.
  • Using a pair of tweezers, grab the end of the splinter and gently pull it out in one straight movement.
  • Alternatively, apply an Ichthammol Ointment to the splinter, cover with a Bandaid for 24 hours and let the ointment draw the splinter out.

4. Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds can be quite common in kids (particularly if they’re a dab hand at nose picking) and they almost always look worse than they actually are.

What to do: While a nosebleed doesn’t hurt, the sight and taste of blood are quite scary for a young child so it’s important to calm them down. Indeed, crying will only make the bleed worse.

  • Once your child is calm, sit them upright, leaning slightly forward.
  • Squeeze the nostrils together with your fingers and hold them closed for 10 minutes.
  • Do not check to see if the bleeding has stopped before the time is up! The blood needs to clot and this takes time.
  • If after 10 minutes it’s still bleeding, hold for another 10 minutes and repeat.
  • If after 30 minutes the nose is still bleeding, head to the doctor’s surgery for your GP to investigate.

5. Scraped elbows, knees and toes

You never realise how much a body can come into contact with the ground until you have children. Scraped toes, scraped knees, scraped elbows, scraped foreheads – you’ll see them all. Kids LOVE the ground it seems – bitumen or not.

What to do:

  • Sit your little one down and apply direct pressure to the scrape site for five to 10 minutes to stop any bleeding. Gently wash the area with lukewarm water and a face washer.
  • Look for any foreign debris (bits of rock, dirt etc) to wash away.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment (put the tube in your pocket or bra to warm up a little so it’s not a cold shock) to the wound.
  • Cover the wound the best you can with a giant Bandaid or other dressing that is airtight and watertight for two to three days.

6. Fingers in doors

Ouch! Finger entrapment is awfully quick with lots and lots of crying on impact. From car doors to toy box lids, here’s what you should do if a finger receives a blow.

What to do:

  • Firstly, check that the fingertip can be straightened.
  • Apply a cold compress or wrapped ice pack to reduce swelling.
  • If there’s fingertip or nail trauma (a split nail or a blood blister forming under the nail), you’ll need to see a doctor for glue or to release the pressure!
  • Some paracetamol may be useful to help reduce the pain.

kids injuries

7. Strains and sprains

There’s a fine line between strains and sprains. A strain is where a muscle has stretched too far, while a sprain is more serious and can include tearing a ligament. It also feels like a broken bone. Ugh.

What to do: Without a doubt, along with immediate piercing pain, there will be swelling. Stop your child from putting any weight on the injured area and follow the RICE rule (below).

  • Rest the injury
  • Put Ice or a cold compress on the area several times a day for 15 minutes to reduce swelling
  • Compress the area with a splint or bandage to prevent swelling
  • Elevate the injured part so that it’s above the heart

If after 24-hours the swelling and pain haven’t improved, seek medical treatment from a healthcare professional. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and to check that nothing has been broken.

Every home needs a first-aid kit!

It’s super important to have a first-aid kit at home (and in the car) for dealing with common kids’ injuries. It needn’t be anything flash – just an organised box, well stocked with the essentials. Key items to include are:

  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antiseptic sprays
  • Adhesive medical tape
  • Bandaids,
  • Gauze and bandages
  • Sharp scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Paracetamol

Most importantly, make sure everyone knows where the first-aid kit is kept!

What to read next:

Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

Write A Comment