How should you deal with children’s wounds?
When children are little, they often accidentally hurt themselves when playing, doing sport or simply exploring the world around them.
A child’s coordination isn’t as developed as an adult’s, they have very little awareness of danger, coupled with boundless curiosity for everything around them.
When you put all these factors together, accidents become a relatively frequent occurrence and parents can often find themselves having to deal with a grazed knee or a bump on the forehead.
Step 1: decide what kind of wound you are dealing with
When a child hurts himself, it is important to keep a cool head and decide just how serious the wound is: is it something you can deal with at home or should you call the doctor?
Dealing with cuts and scrapes
Superficial wounds with minor bleeding can be treated by parents or caregivers as follows:
- Clean the wound of any foreign bodies, like dirt, by placing it directly under running water.
- If necessary and practical, clear the wound of debris using sterile tweezers.
- Disinfect the wound and the undamaged skin around it. If the skin is undamaged, you can use antiseptics containing sodium hypochlorite. If, on the other hand the skin is broken, you can use products containing povidone-iodine.
- Always apply disinfectant with a sterile gauze and not cotton wool, as fluff from it may get stuck in the wound. To stop a superficial wound bleeding, just apply pressure with a sterile gauze.
- Cover the wound with a plaster to stop it getting infected.
Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly before dealing with and dressing a wound.
When you need medical attention
As with adults, it is sometimes best to seek medical advice immediately and let your doctor deal with the wound in the appropriate manner:
- When the wound is very deep and the deep structures of the epidermis may be involved.
- If you think the nerves or tendons may be damaged.
- If the surface wound is in a delicate area such as the face, to ensure it heals properly and leaves no scarring.
How to help the healing process in children
To help tissue heal properly, you can apply products containing hyaluronic acid and silver:
- Hyaluronic acid is a molecule which bonds with large amounts of water and releases it to tissues, creating optimal conditions for tissue regeneration.
- Silver is well-known for its broad-spectrum antimicrobial action. Its antibacterial mechanism of action works on multiple fronts: it interacts with membrane proteins, blocks cell respiration, damages its DNA and induces production of reactive oxygen species.
Choosing the right carrier for these substances is crucial: water in silicone creams are the most effective for wounds, even in children, as the silicones form a semi-occlusive film over the surface of the skin which helps the regeneration process underneath.
Prevent scarring with sun protection
Even the most superficial wound can leave a scar when it has healed, so you must always apply sunscreen if it is in an exposed part of the body.
In this case, choose a sunscreen with physical filters whose particles prevent them penetrating the skin, so are suitable when the skin is particularly fragile.
The above information is not medical advice. It is given purely as an indication and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.