Cuts and Bruises

What should I do if my child cuts himself?
First apply pressure to the cut area with a clean bandage or dressing to control bleeding for the first 5 – 10 minutes.  After the bleeding is controlled, rinse the cut well with soap and water.  Thoroughly rinse the cut area under luke warm tap water for several minutes.  Pat the area dry.  Cover the cut area with a nonstick sterile dressing or bandage.  A Band-Aid will suffice for small cuts.  If loose skin edges are noted, trim these away so that the wound edges can come together and heal properly.
When should I see my physician?
·         If the cut is till bleeding after pressure is applied for 5- 10 minutes.
·         If the cut is gaping and split open.
·         If the cut was made by a “dirty object.”
·         If you suspect dirt or any objects are still left in the cut or wound after through cleansing.
·         IF it look infected with pus, swelling or redness.
·         If the bleeding is excessive, apply pressure and seek emergency aid and/or a physician immediately.

What causes a bruise?
Bruising is caused by bleeding into a muscle or soft skin area usually following some type of trauma.
What should I do for bruising?
Apply ice to the area for 15- 20 minutes and then remove for 15- 20 minutes.  This will help prevent swelling and ease the pain during the first 24 hours after the injury.  This can be repeated several times for the first day after the injury.  Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be given to help alleviate pain and soreness.  If bruising has occurred to an extremity (arm or leg) elevation of the extremity will also help decrease swelling.  Heat to the area after the first day will help alleviate stiffness and soreness as will massaging the area.
When should I call the baby’s pediatrician?
·         If excessive bruising occurs with little or no trauma.
·         If persistent pain or swelling is noted after 24 hours.
·         If your child has difficulty moving or using an arm or leg after the trauma.
·         If you suspect an underlying fracture (broken bone.)