If you're a first time parent, those first scrapes and cuts can cause you a lot of stress. This is particularly true if you're not prepared for all the blood that a small cut can generate. Kids tumble and fall all the time, especially when they're busy playing. If your little one has fallen and cut themselves, you'll need to act fast to stop the bleeding. Here are three steps that will help you get control of the bleeding.
Wash the Wound
The first thing you need to do is wash the wound. This step is particularly important if there is dirt or debris in the wound. Washing the wound will remove the debris and allow you to see how deep the injury is. Begin by flushing the wound with lukewarm water. Next, soak a wash cloth with water and apply a small amount of soap. Carefully wash the wound with the washcloth. Rinse the washcloth often to remove the blood. Once the wound is clean, pat dry with a soft, clean towel.
Stop the Bleeding
If the wound is still bleeding, you're going to want to stop that as quickly as possible. With gloved hands, place several layers of gauze bandage over the wound. The gloves will help prevent the transfer of germs from your hands to the open wound. Place your hand over the gauze and apply pressure for about 5 minutes. Carefully lift up your hand and check for bleeding. Take care not to re-open the wound with the removal of the gauze. If the wound is still bleeding, place several more pieces of gauze over the existing gauze and apply pressure for another five minutes. Once the bleeding stops, you can apply an antibiotic ointment and dress the wound with non-stick gauze and first aid tape.
Know When to Go to Urgent Care
While some cuts can be taken care of with the quick application of a bandage, others will require medical assistance. It's important for you to know the difference. Here are three steps that will help you determine whether or not you should head to the urgent care center.
Bleeding Won't Stop
If you've been applying pressure, and the wound won't stop bleeding, you should head to the urgent care center. This is particularly important if the bleeding has been saturating gauze for more than 5 minutes. Continue applying pressure, and get to the doctor.
Debris is Stuck in the Wound
If you've washed the wound as best you could and there's still dirt and debris inside – or there is something stuck deep inside the wound – you need to take your child to the doctor as soon as possible.
If your child has a cut that is bleeding, you need to take care of it as quickly as possible. The information provided here will help you get the bleeding under control. If you have other questions regarding the care of your child's injury, be sure to contact the urgent care center for instructions.