It’s natural for young children to approach their environment with a sense of curiosity. After all, they’re still learning a lot of things about themselves and the world around them. They’re also eager to see how they can interact with other people, animals, and things. Unfortunately, young kids have also yet to understand how and why some activities and items are not completely safe for them. As such, it’s not unusual for children to acquire minor injuries as they engage with their surroundings.
Perhaps your child is shaping up to be a passionate explorer keen on discovering their world with a sense of boldness. If so, then it’s likely that some of these discoveries also came at the cost of a few cuts, scrapes, and bruises. Aside from guiding your child and helping them develop a sense of self-preservation, you can also support your child’s learning journey by being prepared to administer first aid.
Putting Together a First Aid Kit
If you have an updated first aid kit at home, then you have easy access to most of the tools you need to respond to everyday injuries and illnesses. If you don’t have one or if your kit is now outdated, you can easily order the items you need from an online drugstore near your address. Aside from getting tools and supplies like thermometers and bandages of different sizes, you should also stock up on over-the-counter medications for common illnesses. Also, be sure to check the meds that you currently have if they’re still well within their expiration dates.
Ideally, your first aid kit should be paired with a handbook on how to apply first aid to patients of all ages. This reference will help you make informed decisions, especially if you have a tendency to panic a little when faced with injured or sick loved ones.
Caring for Common and Minor Injuries
There are many types of injuries that children may encounter. These include cuts and scrapes, sprains and strains, bloody noses, and head injuries. Let’s take a look at how to take care of each.
Cuts and Scrapes
Shallow cuts and short scrapes are common childhood injuries. What you can do is flush the wound with soap and water to clean it and then apply an antibiotic ointment on it to prevent infection. You can opt to apply a bandage on the wound if it’s on a spot that tends to be exposed to contaminants or materials that can cause chafing and irritation.
Sprains and Strains
A sprain refers to an injury to the ligament surrounding a joint, while a strain refers to an injury to muscles or tendons. These injuries are different from each other, but they tend to manifest the same similarly. These include symptoms like tenderness, weakness, cramping or spasms, swelling or bruising, and pain in the affected area.
Remember the acronym RICE when dealing with this type of injury: rest, ice, compress, and elevate. Rest the affected body part. Ice the area immediately and keep it there for about 20 minutes. Compression in the form of an elastic bandage should be applied to the area. Elevating the affected part above the level of the patient’s heart is the final step of this process.
A bloody nose can happen due to many reasons, such as dryness, scratching, seasonal changes, and injuries. There are plenty of myths that surround this particular injury, but the best thing to do when your child gets a nosebleed would be to have them sit down and lean forward. This way, the blood will not go down their throat and cause an upset stomach or choking. Next, have your child gently blow their nose to remove blood clots and then slowly pinch the nose to apply pressure on the injury. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes at a time while your child breathes through the mouth. The bleeding should stop in about 30 minutes. If not, then it’s recommended to seek medical advice.
Children tend to bump their heads now and then. This can cause minor injuries such as bumps, bruises, or shallow cuts. That said, it’s also possible for a head injury to have serious damage such as internal bleeding, concussions, or broken skull bones.
Minor injuries, which make up the majority of head injuries, can be addressed with a bit of rest, applying ice on the affected area, and further observation. Meanwhile, if a child with a head injury loses consciousness, complains of a headache that does not go away, experiences nausea or vomiting, or exhibits weakness, slurred speech, and trouble walking, among other things, you should immediately seek medical intervention.