Falling is a part of learning to be brave in the world. Thankfully, most falls don't lead to anything more serious than cuts, scrapes and bruises. While painful, these types of injuries are simple to treat at home.
Home care tips for minor injuries:
- After applying pressure to the area to stop any active bleeding, wash any areas of broken skin with mild soap and water. A plain, unscented soap works great; alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial soap, or similar products are too harsh and can slow healing
- If you're not too worried about the depth of the cut or scrape after cleaning, apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment. We use bacitracin in our clinic, but if you've got another alternative on hand that'll do just fine
- After dressing, cover the injury with a bandage. Ibuprofen (for kids older than 6 months) or Tylenol may be given if your child is uncomfortable
- If a cut looks deep, or the edges pull apart, it's likely your child will need either some medical glue or stitches; seek care with your primary care provider or a pediatric urgent care within a few hours
Signs a child has a broken bone:
- Pain with axial loading of the bone (IMAGE)
- Swelling or bruising of the injured area
- Injured body part bent in an obviously unnatural way
- Refusing to move the injured body part
If there is bone sticking through the skin or if the injured body part is bent in an obviously unnatural way, seek care at an emergency room. Your child might need extra medicine to make them more comfortable while their injury is being treated.
Most fractures in children can be handled at a pediatric urgent care. If you decide to monitor your child at home and they don't start using their injured body part normally within a day or so, it's important to have them evaluated by a medical professional.