Proper Wound Care

Learn proper wound care and the difference between lacerations, bruises and abrasions. Be ready to help your child when they get hurt.

There are three types of wounds that a child can get: lacerations, bruises and abrasions.

Bruises cause a discoloration of the skin, turning the skin bluish in color. You can apply ice to the bruise for the swelling. If you fall on your head and injure it severely, the bruise is considered a contusion. Contusions of the legs usually require you to put your leg up, or use a pair of crutches while the leg heals.

Abrasions, which are scrapes, are areas of the skin that have had the skin scraped off. Scrapes should be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and then an antibiotic cream applied with a bandage for at least the first day to aid in healing.

Lacerations are more serious. This is when the skin is actually cut open. Depending on the severity of the laceration, some may need stitches to keep them closed and heal. Deep lacerations can cause nerve and tissue damage.

Any time there is a laceration involved, make sure you have it checked by the child's pediatrician.

There are certain areas of the body and certain types of cuts that cannot be sutured. The area between the toes is one such place, and physicians usually just tape two toes together. Animal and human bites are an example of laceration where stitches are not used. Closing the wound with sutures causes risk of infection.

If your child has not had a tetanus shot in the last 5 years, you might want to get one if he or she gets injured. Tetanus is a threat in any type of wound.

If any wound starts to ooze or becomes reddened around the cut or opening or the child starts running a fever, it is becoming infected. Apply Neosporin and again, have your doctor check the wound. Only he can tell if it needs further medical attention.

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