The Parent’s Guide To Bruises & Cuts: Easy To Follow Guidelines On What To Do When Your Kid Gets Hurt


Jade Poole from I Write Words

The Parent’s Guide To Bruises & Cuts

The next time your little one gets a boo-boo, make sure you know what to do.

Bruises and bumps are a part of growing up and luckily for parents, the majority of these injuries result in more tears than an actual medical emergency.

In these cases, it’s a good idea to know what steps to take.

Treating an ouchie is a vital step to take as it can speed up in the healing, prevent infection and even prevent potential scarring.

Before we get into it, have a look at this first-aid kit checklist to ensure you have everything you need to treat these minor ouchies.

Here’s how to treat minor bruises and cuts…


Get the ice (ASAP)

The first step to take is to put ice on the bruise. As soon as the injury happens, grab an ice pack and wrap this in a clean towel (never place ice directly onto the skin).

Place it on the bruise for 15 to 20 minutes and repeat this for the first 24 hours. This will help numb the area and decrease swelling.

Elevate the injury

Try to raise the area above your kid’s heart. For example, if she fell and hit her knee, then ask her to lie down with her leg up as this will minimise any swelling and bruising.

Time for the heat

After the first 48 hours, it’s time to apply a heating pad or a hot water bottle to the injury for 10 minutes at a time.

This helps to increase circulation. Do this 3 times a day. Make sure it’s not too hot and DO NOT leave your child alone with the heating pad.

Get some rest

Your kid needs to now take it easy for a little while to allow for the healing to take place. Tell your child not to do too much with the injured area (such as running around with a bruised knee).

Keep the pain under control

Bruises can be pretty painful. If your child is in a lot of pain, give them some Calpol, which is a great option for small kids.

Stay out of the sun

Did you know that UV rays can slow down the healing? If possible, try to cover the bruise with a bandage when your child plays outside. Sunscreen is also a great idea.

When to call your doctor:

  1. The bruising is not from an injury and is unexplainable
  2. The bruising does not disappear or fade within the first 2 weeks
  3. The bruise is the result of a fall downstairs or another traumatic accident
  4. The bruise is large and follows a minor injury

Read: How To Afford Unexpected Doctor Visits (And The Expected Visits Too!)


Keep it clean

Before tending to your child’s cut, make sure you wash your hands with soap and water to prevent germs from getting into the wound.

Apply pressure

With any minor scrapes or cuts, the bleeding tends to stop on its own. If it does not, then you can apply gentle (yet firm) pressure to the wound using a clean towel or gauze pad. Do this until the bleeding stops.

Clean the cut

Next, you need to rinse the cut with cool running water for roughly 1 minute. This will help remove any debris like grass or gravel.

If you cannot rinse this debris out (and it is not embedded in the cut), then using a clean pair of tweezers that have been disinfected with boiling water or rubbing alcohol to gently remove the debris.

Once you have rinsed the area, you now need to wash it with mild antiseptic liquid (Dettol works well) and water.

Do not place peroxide or rubbing alcohol on the cut as this will irritate it. Gently pay the area dry with gauze.

Use ointment

Apply an antiseptic cream to get rid of any remaining germs (only a thin layer is required). Petroleum Jelly will also work to keep the area moist.

Do not use any essential oils, vitamin E or coconut oil until a scab has formed.

Use a bandage to cover the area

Using a plaster or a bandage (depending on the size of the wound), cover the cut and change this dressing once a day. You need to do this for the first 3 or 4 days after the injury. Once a scab forms, you can expose the cut to air.

When to call your doctor:

  1. The cut is deep, large, gaping and/or splurting blood or if the wound is still bleeding after applying pressure for 10 minutes
  2. The cut is near a sensitive area such as the face or eyes
  3. There are signs of infection such as redness, pus, swelling and warmth
  4. The cut is difficult to clean and there are shards of glass or debris in it
  5. The cut is the result of a metal object or something that was rusty or dirty (this may require you child to have a tetanus shot)
  6. The injury is the result of an animal (or human) bite
  7. The injured area becomes numb and loses feeling

Make sure you have health insurance for unexpected emergencies like these. And better yet, health insurance that pays you BEFORE you see the doctor.

Yours in hassle-free health insurance,


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