How should a parent care for a child’s simple injuries?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,559
    Robin Vick, Assistant Director of Nursing at the Continuum Pediatric Nursing Services, discusses the basic recommendations to help care for a sick child at home including how a parent should care for a child’s simple injury such as a fall or skin trauma.

    Host: How should a parent care for a child's simple injuries?

    Robin Vick: When looking at, let's say a child falls and there is some trauma to the skin. Lots of the times it's the knees, lots of the times it might be the elbows. The skin can be scraped, in other words there is no linear tear to the skin but just minor scraping of the top layers of some of -- of the skin; that's something that you can take care of at home. Make sure that you just remain calm and gentle with the child, gently irrigate the cut, the scrape with soap and water and you can use a soft cloth if there is any dirt on the skin to help remove that, that's important. Then if it's bleeding, the important way to know if it needs attention or not is to apply pressure to the surface of the body that's been injured and if the bleeding stops after pressure for 15 minutes, then it's a situation that doesn't need a doctor's attention. If however, when you have a wound, if the child has fallen and more or less torn a piece of skin, the wound will show that the edges are open. If the surface of the skin has been torn and the edges of the wound are not together then a doctor should look at it and decide if some suturing or some non-suturing techniques are needed to hold the skin together. Secondly, if there is any injury to the face or to the lips; these are often sites on the body that bleed profusely and often because the skin is so thin, it may relax and the wound could be open, just keep out the -- looking to make sure that the edges of the wound are touching. Any scrape or tear to the face is something that most parents would want to have a doctor look at. So the ability to stop bleeding; most wounds that you take care of at home if they stop bleeding in 15 minutes, just cover them -- clean them with soap and water. Get them nice and clean and then apply a dry bandage over at the top. Sometimes you can put a little bit of antibiotic ointment on the skin if you think that it will help keep it clean, that's something that you don't need to have a doctor to recommend. Host: To watch the other segments in this video series or for how-to-videos on almost any other topic, visit www.