Living Well

Caring for Cuts and Bandaging Boo Boos

Caring for Cuts and Bandaging Boo Boos

Minor scrapes and cuts come with the territory of being a kid and growing up. For most small injuries, it’s fine to care for them at home. Keep in mind that it’s usually normal for cuts and scrapes to bleed or drain a small amount of fluid.

Here are a few first aid tips for you to care for your child’s cuts and scrapes.

  • Calm your child and let him or her know you can help.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before caring for a wound.
  • Apply pressure with a clean cloth or bandage for several minutes to stop bleeding.
  • Wash the cut area well with soap and water, but do not scrub the wound. Remove any dirt particles from the area and let the water from the faucet run over it for several minutes. A dirty cut or scrape that is not thoroughly cleaned can cause scarring or infection.
  • Apply an antiseptic lotion or cream.
  • Cover the area with an adhesive bandage or gauze pad if the area is on the hands or feet, or if it is likely to drain onto clothing. Change the dressing often. Wash your hands again after you finish would care.
  • Check the area each day and keep it clean and dry. Wash your hands before and after all wound care.
  • Avoid blowing on the abrasion, as this can cause germs to grow.

How Do I Know When to Call the Professionals Instead?
In general, call or see your child’s healthcare provider for cuts and scrapes that are:

  • Bleeding heavily and do not stop bleeding after 5 to 10 minutes of direct pressure. If the bleeding is profuse, hold pressure for 5 to 10 minutes without stopping to look at the cut. If the cloth becomes soaked with blood, put a new cloth on top of the old one. Do not lift the original cloth.
  • Deep or longer than 1/2 inch
  • Located close to the eye
  • Large cuts on the face
  • Caused by a puncture wound, or dirty or rusty object
  • Embedded with debris, such as dirt, stones or gravel
  • Ragged or have separated edges
  • Caused by an animal or human bite
  • Excessively painful
  • Showing signs of infection, such as increased warmth, redness, swelling or drainage

Mother is hugging and kissing her injured runner daughter fallen on the ground

Also call your child’s healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has not had a tetanus shot within the past five years, or if you are unsure when your child’s last tetanus shot was given.
  • You are concerned about the wound or have any questions.

Specific treatment for cuts and scrapes that need more than minor treatment at home will be discussed with you by your child’s healthcare provider.

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