First aid for your child

As children grow older, they will often hurt themselves while playing and exploring. There are some simple first aid techniques you can use if your child becomes injured.

Grazes, cuts and wounds

Grazes, cuts and bruises can be very painful, so starting with a cuddle and a calm voice can help to comfort a child.

Managing bleeding

If your child is bleeding:

  • apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth for a few minutes
  • use disposable gloves if you can, to help prevent infection
  • if the bleeding won’t stop, or if the blood is spurting out, keep pressure on the area and call 111 urgently
  • raising the injured part may help to slow down the bleeding.

Cleaning grazes and cuts

Cleaning wounds such as grazes and cuts helps to stop infections. Many wounds contain dirt and small stones, which can cause infection.

  • Wash your hands before starting to clean the wound.
  • Wash the area gently with soap and clean water.
  • If you can’t remove the dirt, take your child to the doctor.
  • If the wound seems clean, leave it to heal without any treatment.
  • Cover it with a dressing for the first day or two.
  • Covering the wound can help keep the wound clean, and may make your child feel better. Avoid dressings that might stick to the wound.
  • If a dressing is stuck, make it wet, then remove it slowly.

Wounds can become infected easily and the infection can spread around the wound, and sometimes to the whole body. See a doctor if you think a wound is infected.

What to do if the cut, scratch or graze gets worse. Go to the doctor if any of these things happen:

  • area around the cut, scratch or graze gets red, swollen or painful
  • you notice any pus
  • red lines on the skin spread out from the infected area
  • your child feels unwell or has a fever.

Bleeding nose

  • Sit your child upright and pinch the nose just below the middle until the bleeding stops - about 10 minutes.
  • Try to encourage your child to breathe through their mouth.
  • If your child’s nose bleeds often, see a doctor, to rule out clotting disorders and get treatment for the cause.

Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

If you would like to learn about life saving skills of CPR, you can download this app available for Android and Windows Phone devices - includes infant and child CPR.

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