If you take care of small children at home or at a preschool, you need to be aware of injuries that can arise when they are first learning how to walk. Injuries can occur very quickly, so it is important to know how to treat them properly if one occurs. Here are some of the more common injuries in toddlers and how to care for them.
Scrapes And Cuts
When a child is learning to walk, they will not yet be steady on their feet and may wobble quite a bit. Unfortunately, as they are walking around furniture, they may scrape a leg or arm against the surface when trying to regain their footing. They might also fall down and scrape themselves on the way to the floor.
If you witness a fall and see that the child is bleeding, apply pressure to the area immediately with a clean bandage or piece of cloth. Do not remove this until the bleeding stops or slows down where it is manageable. Rinse the cut or scrape under water and use an antibacterial ointment to keep bacteria from causing an infection in the area. Cover with a bandage. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure, bring the child to a medical clinic for an evaluation to see if they need stitches.
Bruises And Bumps
If a child learning to walk falls with a lot of force, the area of skin that hits the floor may bruise from the impact. To treat bruises, place some ice cubes inside a plastic sandwich bag and wrap it inside a hand towel. Place this on the affected area to help reduce swelling. The area may start to become purple or blue-colored as the bruise advances. In most cases no further treatment is necessary and the bruise will heal on its own. If the toddler hits their head, monitor them for signs of a concussion. If they become very tired, incoherent or violently ill after hitting their head, bring them to a doctor (like those at Summit View Clinic) immediately.
Burns And Scalds
It is important to keep small children away from stoves, fireplaces, coffee makers and hot drinks. If they do happen to fall into an area where their skin becomes burned, rinse the area of the skin under lukewarm water for five to ten minutes to help relieve the pain and to help cool down the skin. Wrap the area loosely in gauze to help keep it from being touched. If the skin has blisters or the skin is peeling off, bring the child to a doctor immediately.