Most injuries that occur in childhood will require the same general first-aid:
- Cleansing with soap and hydrogen peroxide.
- Ice applications for discomfort.
- Observations with the child at rest.
Lacerations: immediately stop any bleeding by applying firm pressure directly on the wound for 10 to 15 minutes. If the wound is not severe, wash it with mild soap and a copious amount of water. If you are not sure if your child needs stitches, you should call the office and discuss it. If stitches are required, they will be done in the emergency room. If the wound is a “dirty wound,” i.e. a puncture wound from a nail or a cut on an outdoor toy or implement, a fall on concrete or gravel, etc., a tetanus booster will be needed if more than 5 years has elapsed since the last booster. If you are uncertain about this date you should call in and ask one of the nurses to check the record.
Scrapes, abrasions and bruises: Wash thoroughly with hand soap and cool water and leave open to the air. Acetaminophen may be given for relief of discomfort, in the same dosage as for fever.
Application of ice to bruises and sprains will retard swelling and pain. Ice applications should be continued through the first 24 hours after injury.
Burns: If there is any question as to whether the burn is severe enough to be checked, call at once. Do not apply any kind of medication or grease to the area. Cover burns with Saran wrap to keep the air out (This will increase the pain). Give acetaminophen for pain. In minor burns, after the first 12 hours, the covering should be removed and the burn kept clean. If your child has not had a tetanus shot within the last 5 years, he or she will need one within 48 hours.