How to Prevent Skin Wounds in Children

“Accidents will happen.” When you have young children, you’ll speak those words more times than you’ll be able to count. Others will speak those words to you in a vain attempt to calm your nerves when, in most cases, they’ll have the opposite effect.

So, let’s forget the clichés and get down to the matter at hand; namely, discovering effective ways to prevent accidents before they “happen.”

  • Put a safety latch on drawers that contain knives, forks, scissors, and other sharp implements

  • If it can shatter, like a wine glass or hand-held mirror, store it high up and out of reach.
  • If you can’t keep a paper shredder out of reach, at least disconnect it after each use.
  • A man’s or woman’s razor should never be left in a place a child can reach.
  • Store tools in locked containers or, better still, in areas like your garage that are not accessible to the little ones.
  • If you have stairs, install one or more gates to prevent a tumble – kids can find those unprotected stairs in the blink of an eye, so why take the chance?
  • Scan your yard for sharp objects that could cause scrapes and cuts, such as pointy rocks (find a place to toss them) or gardening tools (store them in a safe, out-of-reach place).

Of course, you won’t be able to prevent your child from every boo-boo — skin wounds come with the toddler territory — but a little bit of vigilance can go a long way toward making her world as safe as possible.

How to treat skin wounds

  • Stop any bleeding. A minor scrape will stop bleeding on its own, but a cut or gash may not. Using a clean washcloth or towel, apply gentle but direct pressure to the wound until the bleeding stops.
  • Double up. If the blood soaks through the cloth, place another one over it and continue to apply pressure. Elevating the injured body part can help slow the bleeding.
  • Rinse it off. Hold the injured body part under warm running water to wash away dirt, broken glass, or any other foreign matter. If that produces more screaming and crying than is healthy for your child or your nerves, fill a basin with warm water and apply a washcloth as needed.
  • Apply one or more bandages. Once the bleeding has stopped and the wound is clean, dab on a thin layer of antibiotic ointment and apply a fresh bandage.
  • Keep it clean. Change the bandage at least once a day or more often if it gets dirty. When a scab forms, you can remove the bandage — but teach (and remind) your child not to pick at it.

If you even suspect that the wound is serious enough to require stitches or other medical treatment, then bring your child to MedCare Express. We’re the only urgent care center in the Greater Hartford area that’s open seven days a week, 8 am to 8 pm.

We’re here when you need us.