Falls, Cuts, Grazes, Bites and Burns are common in childhood. A lot of these conditions need initial management to be started at home before we can avail medical help. The aim of this post is to guide parents about the correct First aid that should be started. It is advisable to have a first aid kit at home. It can be easily bought from the pharmacy or online shopping websites like amazon.
1.)Cuts, Grazes and Wounds: Rinse with water until the area is clean. If there is any bleeding, apply direct pressure with a cloth for 1-2 minutes. You can apply an antiseptic ( eg : Savlon ) or antibiotic ( eg: Neosporin/ Tbact) and cover the area with bandage. Larger cuts need trip to the emergency department as they may need gluing or suturing.
2.)Bruises:Apply cool compresses like an ice pack. If there is significant pain, give an age appropriate dose of paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen/Meftal.
3.)Splinters:Remove splinters with tweezers and wash with water. If unable to remove, visit the Emergency department.
4.)Bleeding:The best way to treat bleeding is application of pressure for at least for 1-2 minutes. If it continues, apply additional pressure for 5 minutes. If uncontrolled, see a doctor.
5.)Eye Injuries:Wash the injured eye with water for 10-15 mins. Do not apply any medications or drops. Consult an eye specialist for all eye injuries.
6.)Fractures and Sprains: If after an injury, legs or arms are deformed and swollen, wrap the injured part in a cloth or towel and apply a splint made with hard material like cardboard. You can apply a cold compress and bandage on wounds. Do not try to straighten the arm/leg but seek immediate medical help.
7.)Stings from insects:Remove the stinger by tweezers or by scraping it. Apply cold compress. If there are signs of severe allergic reactions like vomiting, swelling of lips and tongue, seek emergency help.
8.)Animal and Human Bites: Wash the wound with soap and water at least for 10-15 mins. The child may need anti rabies vaccine and/or Tetanus vaccine. Antibiotics may be needed.
9.)Allergies: In case of small itchy rashes (hives), give age appropriate dose of anti-allergy medication like Allegra, Cetzine, Avil . If allergy is severe, contact emergency.
10.)Burns and Scalds: Remove the child away from the heat source immediately. Remove clothing. Run cool water on the burnt area till the pain subsides. Do not put butter, ghee, ice, ointments on the area.Do not pop the burn Blisters. Seek help for appropriate dressing. For large burns, seeks immediate emergency medical help.
11.)Electric Burns:Turn off, disconnect electric power. Do not touch the child with bare hands if he is still in contact with the electric source. Use a non-conducting object ( eg wooden ) after electricity has been switched off to displace the child from the source. Go to emergency department.
12.)Nose Bleeds: Apply direct pressure on the soft part of the nose to stop bleeding. Ice pack application can help as well.
13.)Knocked or broken teeth: If baby teeth, apply clean gauze to control bleeding.In case of permanent teeth, handle the tooth by the top and not the root. Place the tooth in egg white or coconut water or milk or water and bring it along with the child to the emergency department.
14.)Poisons:In case of swallowed poison, do not induce vomiting but seek medical help. In case the child has inhaled toxic fumes, get the child into fresh air and take him to emergency.If the child comes in contact with acids, poisons, pesticides, brush off any residues from the body preferably using gloves. Remove the clothes. Wash skin, eyes and hair with water and mild soap. Visit emergency.