First Aid for Families
Cuts and Scrapes
While the sting of cuts and scrapes is often painful enough to cause tears, the good news is that most of these injuries are minor. Bleeding is common and can be controlled by several simple measures:
- Apply direct pressure to the wound with absorbable material (sterile gauze is preferable).
- If the injured area is an arm or leg, elevate it above the victim’s heart to assist in faster clotting.
- Apply a cold compress over the gauze to help speed clotting if the above measures do not suffice.
- Flush minor cuts and scrapes with water or sterile saline, pat dry, and apply an antiseptic ointment (or iodine) before a final dressing is applied. Bandages should be snug but not too tight.
Puncture wounds usually stand a greater chance of infection and should be seen by a physician. Additionally, if you have any concern about whether a wound requires stitches, take your child to the ED for a professional evaluation.
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