Cuts and scrapes: Simple steps to help prevent infection
By: Times News Service
Outdoor adventures — for kids big and small — bring a few unexpected injuries. Parents never want to see their kids hurt, but when those minor cuts or scrapes do occur, it's important to know what to do — and what to use — to help prevent infection and get little ones back to their adventures.
"As parents, we want to protect our kids, especially when it comes to treating the minor cuts and scrapes that are an inevitable part of growing up," says Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician and healthy child advocate based in the US. "Knowing the correct way to treat a minor cut, scrape or burn, and the first aid treatment you should have on hand, can help you feel prepared to face the unpredictable."
Dr. Burgert stresses that parents need to be focused on prevention. "Infection prevention is priority number one in first aid. When your child gets hurt, your first line of defence is a topical antiseptic to protect against germs and help prevent infection," she notes. Dr. Burgert says infection protection is easy with three simple steps:
Step 1: Clean the affected area
If there is any minor bleeding, get that under control first by applying gentle pressure with a clean tissue or cloth. Next, wash your hands to help prevent the spread of germs, and then gently clean the affected area. Make sure to remove any dirt, gravel or debris that may be stuck in the skin. Once the wound looks clean, you can begin treatment.
Step 2: Help prevent infection with a proper antiseptic, every time
It's important that you select the proper first aid product with the right ingredients; it's not one size fits all! A topical antiseptic is the first line of defence. After the minor wound is clean, apply antiseptic to kill germs and help prevent infection. Its golden-brown colour allows you to easily see where it has been applied and that it is working. Your child will be excited to show off their latest "battle wound" and you'll have peace of mind knowing you chose an antiseptic that supports healthy healing.
Step 3: Bandages to the rescue
Not all scrapes will require a bandage. However, if there is open skin of any kind, it's wise to keep it covered to reduce exposure to outside germs. Keep in mind, the psychology of a bandage can have a big impact on kids, so even if it might not be necessary, providing one could help calm nerves.
“Smart parents know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” says Dr. Burgert.
“Understanding what to do when your child gets a minor cut, scrape or burn, makes you feel confident that you are taking the steps necessary to help prevent infection.
“By cleaning the wound, applying an effective antiseptic and covering it with a bandage, you're taking the correct precautions to support healthy healing for your child.”