Pediatric First-aid: When It's Time to See the Doctor
If you have children, you are no stranger to life's little calamities. They come in the form of skinned knees, scraped elbows, and stubbed toes. Here are some guidelines to help you treat those little accidents and know when it is time to seek help.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after treating an injury. If possible, put on disposable nonlatex gloves.
- If there is bleeding, place a clean piece of gauze over the wound. Apply firm, but gentle pressure.
- To cleanse the wound, rinse it under cool water. Use soap and water to clean the wound. Be aware that soap may cause irritation if it gets inside the wound. You do not have to use a stronger cleanser, like rubbing alcohol, to clean the wound.
- Apply antibiotic cream to the wound before putting on a bandage. This cream may help the healing process and reduce the chance of infection.
- Change the bandage every day or whenever it gets wet or dirty.
- Check to make sure the wound is not infected. Tell your doctor if you have increasing pain, swelling, redness, or warmth.
- Allow the scab to fall off by itself. Scabs that are picked take longer to heal. Plus, it may leave a scar.
Last reviewedOctober 2013by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.