Advice from pediatricians on dealing with minor injuries at home

In most cases, if your child suffers a minor injury at home, you won’t need to take him or her to the emergency room, or even your pediatrician. That said, you should have a good sense of when you can deal with an injury yourself and when you should call a medical professional. And even minor hurts should be handled with care, so as to make sure that they heal as quickly as possible, with as little risk of infection or other complications as possible. Here is some advice from pediatricians on how to make sure of that.

The first step is to keep your child as calm as possible. In order to do this, you’ll have to keep yourself calm, or at the very least try to look or sound calm. A very small child can sometimes be distracted with a toy or book while you treat the wound, if you do nothing too painful and keep the wound covered. If your child is a little older, explain everything you’re going to do, whether or not it will hurt, and let him or her hold the bandage or ointment.

Small cuts, scrapes, burns and scalds

The way to determine if a cut requires a trip to the hospital is to put pressure on it with a clean cloth for a few minutes. No matter how bad it looks, if it stops bleeding after five to ten minutes, home bandages should do the trick. Start by cleaning the wound under plain lukewarm water and patting it dry. Then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound, and the bandage over that. Make sure the bandage is airtight and watertight. If your child gets worse after this, or the wound is becoming more painful or showing signs of infection, call your pediatrician or hospital.

Among very young children in Gastonia, NC, scalding is the most common form of burns. Take your child to the ER if the burn is on the face, hands or genitals, or if it’s more than a quarter of an inch across. If not, hold the wound under cool, running water until it hurts less.

Muscle injuries

Sprains and strains are more likely to happen during outdoor play, but sometimes happen inside. They generally happen to older children, whose bones are stronger in proportion to their muscles and ligaments. A strain, or torn muscle,

Pediatricians in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a center for pediatric medicine conveniently located west of Charlotte. It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area, has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If your family needs a pediatrician, call today.