Treating Cuts Burns In Children – Basic First Aid Tips

Written by on June 10, 2013 in Family - No comments | Print this page


injured childAs the proud parent of a little one, you have probably done all that you can to childproof your home.

Yet, no matter how hard you try to keep your little ones out of danger their curious little natures often get the better of them.

Accidents happen to babies and children everyday and it can be hard to know what to do when your child hurts themselves.

The following article is a guide to simple first aid that you can give to your child at home.

Treating a Burn

Young children and especially toddlers are prone to getting burnt in the home. Of course, vigilant parents will always ensure that hot objects are out of a small child’s reach and that fires are suitably guarded.

However a hot drink left for just a moment can be all too easily ‘investigated’ by a toddler causing them to burn themselves. So what should you do?

  • Do not panic! Your small child will most likely be hysterical and crying in pain. Keep as calm as you can and use your tone of voice and loving care to calm your child down.
  • Remove your child’s clothing. This will help you to see easily where your child has been burnt and will make the burn easier to treat.
  • Run the burn under cool water. Do this immediately. The faster you cool the burn down the less damage the burn will do to the skin. If the burn is not easy to run under the cold tap then you may have to stand the toddler in the bath and use a cup to pour cool water over the burn. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Cover the burn. To prevent any infection cover the burn after you have cooled it down. Lebreton Training services recently recommended usingfabric such as cotton or linen that is clean and will not stick to the burn. Never apply butter or toothpaste to the burn.
  • Give the child painkillers. A child’s painkiller such as Calpol can ease the pain and help calm the child down.

Depending on the severity of the burn your child may need to be taken straight to hospital. If the burn looks severe then get the child to Accident and Emergency as soon as possible.

If the burn does not look severe and the area just looks a little red then call your GP and make an appointment for your child to be seen.

Treating Cuts

Toddlers are just about finding their feet and are prone to tumbles. Your child may be fine one minute, toddling about on their shaky little legs and you turn your back for a moment to find that they have tumbled and cut themselves. If the cut is bleeding, then what should you do?

  • If there is a lot of bleeding that hasn’t stopped, then use a clean tea towel to press down on the cut until it stops bleeding. Don’t panic if it doesn’t stop bleeding immediately just keep the pressure on. Take care not to tie anything tightly around the cut so that you do not stop your child’s circulation.
  • If the cut is on your child’s arm then raise their arm up to help stop the bleeding.
  • When you have stopped the bleeding, clean the cut with soap and water and cover with a plaster or sterile gauze.

Most cuts are not serious and can be treated at home but the NHS recommends that you visit Accident and Emergency if ‘You cannot stop the bleeding’ or if ‘there is a possibility that a foreign body is still inside the wound.’

Knowing what to do when your toddler has an accident or is ill can be difficult. There is a wealth of information available online but it is no substitute to first hand experience.

Contrary to popular belief, First Aid courses that are designed specifically with children and toddlers in mind are available to everyone and not just to medical professionals.

It is recommended that everyone who has anything to do with children keep up-to-date with life saving first aid information and techniques so that you know what to do in the event of an accident or emergency.

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Ross Davies blogs about childcare, first aid and working with children. He lives in the UK with his wife, tow sons and his Siamese cats.

Image courtesy of tungphoto /


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