Skin Wounds

Make sure the child is up to date for tetanus vaccination. Any open wound may need a tetanus booster even when the child is currently immunized. If the child has an open wound, ask the pediatrician if the child needs a tetanus booster.

Apply cool compresses. Call the pediatrician if the child has a crush injury, large bruises, continued pain, or swelling. The pediatrician may recommend acetaminophen for pain.

Rinse small cuts with water until clean. Use direct pressure with a clean cloth to stop bleeding and hold in place for 1 to 2 minutes. If the cut is not deep, apply an antibiotic ointment, then cover the cut with a clean bandage. Call the pediatrician or seek emergency care for large or deep cuts, or if the wound is wide open. For major bleeding, call for help (911 or an emergency number). Continue direct pressure with a clean cloth until help arrives.

Rinse with clean, running tap water for at least 5 minutes to remove dirt and germs. Do not use detergents, alcohol, or peroxide. Apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage that will not stick to the wound.

Remove small splinters with tweezers, then wash until clean. If you cannot remove the splinter completely, call the pediatrician.

Puncture Wounds
Do not remove large objects (such as a knife or stick) from a wound. Call for help (911 or an emergency number). Such objects must be removed by a doctor. Call the pediatrician for all puncture wounds. The child may need a tetanus booster.

Apply pressure with gauze over the bleeding area for 1 to 2 minutes. If still bleeding, add more gauze and apply pressure for another 5 minutes. You can also wrap an elastic bandage firmly over gauze and apply pressure. If bleeding continues, call for help (911 or an emergency number).

Eye Injuries
If anything is splashed in the eye, flush gently with water for at least 15 minutes. Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222) or the pediatrician for further advice. Any injured or painful eye should be seen by a doctor. Do NOT touch or rub an injured eye. Do NOT apply medicine. Do NOT remove objects stuck in the eye. Cover the painful or injured eye with a paper cup or eye shield until you can get medical help.

Fractures and Sprains
If an injured area is painful, swollen, or deformed, or if motion causes pain, wrap it in a towel or soft cloth and make a splint with cardboard or other firm material to hold the arm or leg in place. Do not try to straighten. Apply ice or a cool compress wrapped in thin cloth for not more than 20 minutes. Call the pediatrician or seek emergency care.

If there is a break in the skin near the fracture or if you can see the bone, cover the
area with a clean bandage, make a splint as described above, and seek emergency care. If the foot or hand below the injured part is cold or discolored (blue or pale), seek emergency care right away.

Burns and Scalds
General Treatment
First, stop the burning process by removing the child from contact with hot water or a hot object (for example, hot iron). If clothing is burning,
smother flames. Remove clothing unless it is firmly stuck to the skin. Run cool water over burned skin until the pain stops. Do not apply ice, butter, grease, medicine, or ointment.

Burns With Blisters
Do not break the blisters. Ask the pediatrician how to cover the burn. For burns on the face, hands, feet, or genitals, seek emergency care.

Large or Deep Burns
Call 911 or an emergency number. After stopping and cooling the burn, keep the child warm with a clean sheet covered with a blanket until help arrives.

Electrical Burns
Disconnect electrical power. If the child is still in contact with an electrical source, do NOT touch the child with bare hands. Pull the child away from the power source with an object that does not conduct electricity (such as a wooden broom handle), only after the power is turned off. ALL electrical burns need to be seen by a doctor.