Cuts & Scrapes
If the injury barely brakes the skin wash the area with soap and water, pat it dry and apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. Cover with a bandage and change it every day. Stay away from iodine since an antiseptic solutions will only worsen the pain and do little to speed healing.
For deeper wounds, apply direct pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. Elevating the injured limb above the heart will help control bleeding. Once bleeding stops, gently rinse the area with water. never clean deep gashes and cuts with soap of antiseptic because they can damage healthy tissue.
Call the doctor: If the cut is more than 1/8-inch deep, gaping open, or on the face, neck, hand or head; If bleeding doesn’t stop after 5minutes; If you notice signs of infection later or if your child isn’t up to date on his tetanus shots (given at 2, 4 and 6 months; 15 to 18 months; and 4 to 6 years).
Soak the area in warm water and pull out the splinter with sterilized tweezers. If the splinter is till embedded, numb the area with ice, then dislodge it with a sterilized needle. Wash the wound with soapy water and apply an antibiotic cream.
Call the doctor: If the area looks infected or if your child isn’t currently on his tetanus shots (given at 2, 4 and 6 months; 15 to 18 months; and 4 to 6 years).
Apply an ice pack, wrapped in a soft dishcloth, to the sore area for about 20 minutes to reduce the pain and swelling.
Call the doctor: If your child bruises his head and vomits, feel dizzy, complains of a headache or loses consciousness. Call right away if your child can’t move the injured body part.
Rub on a methyl salicylate cream (such as Ben Gay) to reduce swelling; then wrap a towel around a bag of ice and leave it on the sore joint for 20-minute periods. Wrapping the limb in Ace bandage and keeping it elevated will also help.
Call the doctor: To rule out the possibility of a fracture. Your child will most likely need and X-ray.
Bug Bites & Stings
Scrape away the stinger with your fingernail or a credit card – using tweezers may squeeze more toxins into the skin. If your child can’t stop medication that contains an antihistamine and apply a paste of baking soda and water to the sore area 2 to 3 times a day (for a bee sting, rub on little ammonia diluted with water instead). Ibuprofen can help reduce swelling.
Call the doctor: Immediately, if your child has a severe allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness); If pain and swelling persist for more than 72 hours.
The best way to soothe these red, itchy patches (which are caused by bacteria and parasites in freshwater ponds and lakes0 is to spread on a thick layer of calamine lotion several times a day.
Call the doctor: If the rash looks as though it’s infected (if there’s pus, increased pain or redness); of if your child runs a fever.
(from poison oak, ivy of sumac)
Apply calamine lotion several times a day (avoid formulas that contain antihistamines or anesthetics, since they can make itching worse) or dab an a 1% hydrocortisone cream or paste of baking soda mixed with water.
Call the doctor: If the rash is on the face or extensively covers the body, is infected (blisters, oozes pus), or is accompanied by a fever, cortisone injections may be necessary to reduce inflammation. Otherwise, and oral antihistamine (such as Benadryl) will most likely be recommended to control severe itching.
Apply a cool compress for fast relief; or have the child soak in a tepid bath with 1/4 cup each of baking soda and cornstarch. You can also apply soothing aloe vera gel on the sunburned skin.
Call the doctor: If you see blisters; it may be a second- or third-degree burn needing immediate medical attention to prevent infection.
Overheating & Dehydration
Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids during warm weather, since they are especially at risk for dehydration. If a child suddenly complains that he feels weak, nauseated or dizzy or if baby’s skin looks pale and feels coo and moist, quickly get him into the shade. He may be suffering from heat exhaustion, which should pass once he rests in a cool area and sips some water, fruit juice or decaffeinated soda. (Infants and toddlers may be given a commercial rehydrating solutions, such as Pedialyte or Rehydralyte.)
Also watch for hot, dry skin accompanied by a rapid pulse, shallow breathing or loss of consciousness; These could indicate heat stroke, a potentially life-threatening illness. Dial 911 immediately for help.