Child care: Dealing with abrasions

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Abrasions include injuries such as scratches, cuts or grazes. Both children and adults can end up with abrasions but can be readily treated at home using a first aid kit. As a common wound, you have to be prepared to manage this injury.

What are the causes in children?

Children can end up with abrasions most of the time since they usually like rough-and-tumble play and likely to endure falls every now and then.

Young children are likely to fall since their heads are hefty in comparison to the mass of their figures which makes them wobbly while on their feet. In addition, they are also likely to climb on almost everything that they see.

Children can end up with abrasions most of the time since they usually like rough-and-tumble play and likely to endure falls every now and then.

As for older children and teenagers, they often end up with abrasions from sports.

When to consult a doctor?

A doctor should be consulted if the child has the following:

  • The abrasion is too deep and bleeding could not be controlled even with the application of firm pressure.
  • There are a lot of debris such as gravel, dirt or pieces of metal, wood or glass in the abrasion.
  • A large-sized abrasion with jagged or rough edges.
  • You are uncertain if the child is updated with his/her tetanus immunizations.

It is vital to have a first aid kit in the house at all times. The kit should be well stocked, organized and always on hand. This will ensure that once a family member ends up with an abrasion, it can be treated right away.

Management for abrasions

In most instances, abrasions can be treated at home using a first aid kit. When a child ends up with one, the following measures should be carried out.

  • Place the affected area under cool running water to get rid of any dirt or debris. You can utilize saline or a diluted antiseptic solution in tap water to clean the wound. Make sure that the surrounding skin should also be cleaned using gauze that was soaked in warm water.
  • Remember to wipe from the wound instead of wiping towards it. The reason for this is to avoid getting more dirt or debris into the wound.
  • If the abrasion is bleeding, apply direct pressure for 15 minutes. If the wound continues to bleed even if firm pressure is applied, consult a doctor or bring the individual to the nearest emergency department.
  • If the wound is not bleeding, apply a thin layer of moisturizer or ointment. Cover the wound using a sterile, non-adhesive dressing.
  • Change dressings regularly and continue to apply a moisturizer or ointment and dressing for 2-3 days after the injury. This keeps the healing crust soft and thin. After 2-3 days, open the wound to be exposed to the air.
  • When taking a bath or shower, take the dressing off and allow water to run over the abrasion. The crust will eventually fall off.
  • Instruct the child to avoid picking on the crust. In case the crust breaks, the healing course has to start from the beginning and there is an increased risk for infection and scarring.

During the days after the injury, it is vital to monitor for any indications of infection such as pain, redness, swelling, warmth and drainage of pus. A doctor should be consulted if any of these are present.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on abrasions is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and help individuals with abrasions using proper wound care register for a standard first aid course with one of our training centers.

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