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Teach Your Child How to Care for Minor Injuries

Childhood is a time filled with play and playing as a child almost always includes a few scraps, cuts, and a slew of other minor injuries. While the daily work of a child is the creation of these injuries, the work of a parent turns into the work of a nurse. Parents know what to do with each and every injury that is presented, but what about children?

While the first few minutes of many cuts and scraps are the most crucial moments for the care and healing of the wound, children usually leave that up to their parents to take care of. Yet, for children to know how to take care of their own minor injuries quickly can help them take responsibility of their own wellness.

Preschool
Although preschoolers are a little to young to care for their own wounds, you can begin to take steps toward them caring for their own wounds. When the opportunity arises and your child gets a cut or a small scrap talk your child through every step you are taking. “We have to clean your wound with soap and water first, now we have to dry it up very good. Now we must apply an antibacterial ointment to make sure it does not get infected and then we will place a bandage over it.”

You can also explain what each product is used for. “The soap is used to clean it and to be sure we kill all the germs, the antibacterial ointment is used to be sure the cut does not get infected and the bandage is used to keep the cut clean. EThis will set the gears in motion for your child to be able to care for their own injuries.

Main points to address:

  • Talk to your child through every step while caring for their injury.
  • Explain what each wound care product is and what it is used for.

Grades K-3rd
Once your children reach the kindergarten to third grade age group is a great time to allow them to care for the injury while you supervise. Explain each step to your child, but allow them the opportunity to complete the steps. “Get a wash cloth and lather it up with soap and water. Now, clean the wound, although it may hurt a little just be sure to get it very clean. EBe sure to allow your child to complete the task.

Keep a well-equipped first aid kit in the family bathroom. Your first aid kit should include bandages (all shapes and sizes, including butterfly bandages), antibacterial ointment, cleansing wipes, gauze, tape, wraps, lotions (such as calamine), burn cream, hydro cortisone cream, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol wipes, pain relief (and/or fever reducer), cotton balls, and other medications that are used for diarrhea or various other conditions.

Main points to address:

  • Keep a small first aid kit accessible to your child.
  • Allow them to care for the wound while you supervise.

Grades 4th-6th
Once your children are older they should be able to care for their own wounds with little or no supervision. But to be sure they accurately care for their own wounds (and they take care of every wound accurately) you can provide a checklist for your child in the bathroom. The checklist should be hung somewhere accessible to them and include each step accordingly.

Children in this age group should also understand the difference between a wound they can care for and an emergency wound that needs to be cared for by a medical professional such as trouble breathing, discolored lips, a high fever, chest pain, animal or human bites, severe burns, large open wounds, broken bones, blurred vision, feeling dizzy, and/or severe pain.

Main points to address:

  • Provide a checklist in the bathroom.
  • Make sure they understand the difference between a minor injury and major injury.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

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