How to Treat Injuries From Common Accidents Among Kids
Find out how to treat injuries sustained from 7 common accidents among kids at home and when you should seek immediate medical attention...
When you have kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers, accidents around the home are quite common. Whether it's a scraped knee or a bump on the head, it's really important that parents know how to treat the injury at home. It's also crucial to know when they should seek immediate medical attention. With this in mind, we bring you 7 injuries brought about by common accidents among young children, and how to treat them.
This information was originally presented by paediatrician Dr Wong Chin Khoon from SBCC Baby & Child Clinic.
Children may accidentally cut themselves because of different reasons. This is why we should try to keep all sharp objects away from our little ones.
In case your child does get a cut, take note of the following:
- If the wound is small, hold it under running water to flush out dirt and other contaminants.
- Next, apply direct pressure onto the wound with a gauze pad for at least 10-15 minutes (using gloves if possible).
- If bleeding is heavy or persists, apply a large pressure dressing over the original gauze pad, elevate the site of the wound, and call Emergency without delay.
2. Head injuries resulting from falls
Young children are prone to falls because of their "imperfect" and still-developing sense of balance. In case your little one falls and hits her head, follow these steps:
- Immediately check for any swelling on the scalp.
- Apply a cold compress like an ice pack on the area of impact — even if there is no swelling — for at least 15-20 minutes.
Important: Call 995 if your child is:
- Unconscious or drowsy;
- Behaving abnormally;
- Complaining of severe or persistent headache;
- Oozing blood or fluid from his or her ears or nose;
- Twitching or convulsing; or
- Unable to move any body part.
Seek medical attention immediately if there is an open wound.
If the wound is bleeding, you can apply direct pressure to try and stop the bleeding (as described in the previous slide).
3. Burns and scalds
Children are often curious and want to explore their surroundings — including everything in the kitchen, where cooking stoves and other hot materials may pose a danger to them. This is exactly why the kitchen should be 'out-of-bounds' to your little one.
But, in case your little one gets burned or scalded, do remember the following pointers:
Burns without blisters:
- Place the part of the body that is burned or scalded in cold water. You could also apply a cold wet cloth on the area till the pain stops.
- Do not apply toothpaste.
Burns with blisters:
- The treatment is the same for a burn with no blisters.
- Do not try to break the blister/s.
It’s really important that you take your child to a doctor or A&E if a significant part of his or her body is burned, or if the burn is in an area such as the face, ears or genitals.
If you're in doubt regarding your child's burnt or scalded body part/area, it's best to seek medical attention.
Most, if not all children will sustain bruises in the course of growing up. It's all part of an "ordinary childhood," as we say.
Nonetheless, getting bruises is certainly no laughing matter, especially if you're still small. You can help relieve your child's pain or discomfort in the following manner:
- Apply a cold compress to the fresh bruise for the first 15 to 20 minutes.
- If your child sustained bruises because he or she fell or knocked one of their body parts against something, look out for the signs of a possible fracture, such as swelling, pain, tingling sensation, inability to move.
If your child shows any of these symptoms, do not delay in bringing him or her to a doctor.
5. Abrasions/ scrapes
If your child gets scrapes or abrasions on any part of their body, it's best to apply the following home care tips:
- Wash the scrape with soap and water or diluted antiseptic solution.
- Let it dry.
- Cover with a sterile plaster, bandage or dressing.
6. Electric shock
This is probably one of the scariest injuries you'll ever have to deal with as a parent. In case your child falls victim to electric shock, take note of the following:
- If your child is still connected to the electrical circuit or lying near the wire or electrical power point, disconnect or remove the child from the circuit using a non-conductive instrument, e.g. a wooden plank or plastic rod.
- If your child is still conscious, check for wounds and immediately call a doctor.
- If your child is unconscious, first check if he or she is breathing. If not, call 995 and perform CPR until help arrives.
7. Tooth injury from fall
Getting a tooth injury because of a fall might be an unlikely occurrence but it's still best to be prepared. In case this happens to your little one, here are some things to take note of:
If the tooth is broken:
- Rinse dirt from the injured area with clean warm water.
- Place a cold compress over the face in the area of the injury.
- Find and keep any tooth fragments.
- Take your child along with the tooth fragments to a dentist without delay.
If the tooth is completely knocked out:
- Find the tooth. Handle it by the crown (the smooth, white section), not by the root.
- Rinse the tooth in water only.
- Place the tooth in a cup of milk or water.
- Immediately take your child to a dentist. Do keep in mind that if it is a permanent tooth that got knocked out, timing is critical.