There will be grazes and wounds aplenty in every active family, and while the injuries are rarely serious, it is important to clean and treat them properly to help protect against infections and scarring. Here’s your step-by-step action plan.
STEP 1 > Get help if you need it
Stay calm and have a good look at the wound. If it is especially large or deep, if you feel that you can’t bring the sides of the wound together easily, or if there is a lot of blood, get prompt medical attention.
STEP 2 > Stop the blood
Most childhood cuts and scrapes are quite shallow and will stop bleeding on their own, but if the wound you are treating is more serious, it’s important to stop the flow of blood first. Get a clean cloth or bandage, fold it into a pad, and hold it against the wound with firm pressure for about 20 minutes. Don’t keep checking on the wound as this can disturb the clot that may be forming. If the wound is still bleeding after twenty minutes, get prompt medical attention.
STEP 3 > Wash your hands
For minor cuts and grazes, wash your own hands with warm, soapy water before you start handling the wound, to make sure you’re not introducing dirt or bacteria.
STEP 4 > Clean out the wound
Even the mildest of wounds can turn into a serious health issue if it’s allowed to get infected. Gently washing the wound will remove any foreign objects and surface bacteria, and reduce the chance of infection. Let a moderate amount of water run over the wound, from a tap or a jug, for at least five minutes. Spray bottles filled with water are also very effective, or try a medicated product like Dettol Antiseptic Wound Wash Spray which helps protect minor wounds from germs and infection. If there are any particles that can’t be removed by rinsing, then you’ll need to get medical attention. If the wound is still bleeding after you have cleaned it, follow the procedures in step two.
STEP 5 > Clean the surrounding area
It’s a good idea to wash the skin around the wound so that there’s less chance of bacteria or plain old dirt contaminating the cleaned wound. A gentle wash with soap and water will do the trick.
STEP 6 > Apply an antiseptic agent
Cover the wound with a thin layer of a suitable antiseptic cream or gel. It won’t speed up healing, but it will help guard against infection. Dettol Soothing Antiseptic Cream contains two antiseptic ingredients plus almond oil to soothe and moisturize the skin.
STEP 7 > Cover the wound
Covering the cut or scrape with an elastic plaster or other wound dressing is a good move because it will help prevent the wound being contaminated by bacteria or dirt. It can also help stop the wound getting knocked again. And besides – kids love a bandaid!
STEP 8 > Change the covering
Ideally, you’d be refreshing the dressing daily, but the prospect of removing and reapplying bandaids once a day would have little appeal for a small child. Instead, keep an eye on the condition of the wound dressing – if it gets particularly dirty or tatty then you’ll have to remove it and start again. Once the wound has healed enough to prevent infection, remove the wound dressing to expose the cut or graze to air. This will speed up the healing process.
STEP 9 > Watch out for infection
Check the wound at least once a day. If the skin around it is looking red, if it’s itchy or increasingly sore, if there is any swelling or your child has a temperature with the injury, then it could be infected. If you think the wound is infected, or you have any concerns, speak to your GP.
LIVE WELL RECOMMENDS
Dettol Antiseptic Wound Wash Spray
Dettol Antiseptic Wound Wash Spray is a ready-to-use antiseptic solution. Use it to wash out and cleanse wounds including minor cuts and grazes, insect bites and stings. Always read the label. Use only as directed
Dettol Soothing Antiseptic Cream
Dettol Soothing Antiseptic Cream is recommended for treating cuts, scratches, abrasions, insect bites, minor skin infections and cracked, itchy skin. It has two powerful antiseptic ingredients in a gentle formulation and contains almond oil to soothe and moisturise the skin. It assists in the treatment of wounds by fighting infection and helping prevent re-infection. Always read the label. Use only as directed