When you’re a parent, you’re also a cook, a chauffeur, a counsellor, a tutor, a handyman, a coach, and more. But perhaps the scariest role you’ll have to fill is that of an paramedic. You know how it goes—you turn your back for just a moment, and then suddenly your child is bleeding, burned or bruised. Here’s how to care for some common injuries at home when this happens.
After a bump on the head, wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas in a thin towel and hold it against the area to reduce swelling. You can also offer paracetamol for pain, although avoid ibuprofen—this drug may increase bleeding, which can be dangerous when there’s the potential risk of a brain injury. If the bump seems to be more severe, check to see if your child’s neck has also been hurt—this could be a sign of a much more serious injury, and you should call a doctor.
In response to any minor signs of an allergic reaction, give your child Benadryl (diphenhydramine). If the reaction seems more severe, use an epinephrine injector, such as an EpiPen and go to A&E. Even if they seem better afterward, monitor their condition once the effects of medication wear off.
Most nosebleeds look worse than they are. Have your child tilt their head forward slightly, and then pinch their nose tightly just below the nasal bone with a tissue. Hold this position for ten to 15 minutes to stop the bleeding, and be patient! This step can take longer than you think. Don’t let your child lean back—if they do, blood may go down their throat and into their stomach, which can cause vomiting.
Hold the burned area under a cool tap for ten to 15 minutes to cool the skin, ease pain, and halt inflammation. Next, apply an antibiotic ointment to sooth the burn and help skin cells regenerate. Don’t use vitamin E or butter, both of which can be irritating, and never place ice directly on a burn, as doing so can cause tissue damage.
This fearure was originally published in the summer edition of Healthy Child with Dr Ranj Singh, which you can also read here!