cuts, scrapes and bruises in babies

Managing Cuts and Bruises

Cuts and bruises are bound to happen

Babies have creative ways to get themselves in all sorts of trouble, making parenting more than a full time job. When babies begin to walk on their own, it is amazing how fast they can seemingly disappear from sight! As diligent as parents are, it is simply impossible to protect your baby from every accident, every fall, scrape, or cut. It is also true that to some extent, babies learn valuable lessons by getting themselves into trouble. Parental paranoia is a very common trend--babies are going to get a cut or a scrape or two from time to time - but it is also important to protect them once they do they get that burn, scrape, or cut to insure that the damage does not go further.

Babies are more prone to infections

While a cut or a bruise should heal quickly, infections can and do happen to babies, and they need to be protected properly. Remember that babies have developing immune systems that are still far more vulnerable than that of an adult´s system. The immune system has a learning system where it becomes better at removing unwanted bacteria, virus, or fungus as it becomes exposed to them over the years. Since babies have little or no memory of these antigens, they are far more vulnerable to these infections, which we often call childhood diseases or infections.

How to treat an open wound

If your baby has an open wound, the first step is to ensure that the bleeding stops. In many cases, the bleeding is either not present or will stop almost immediately. If the bleeding is more severe, apply direct pressure to the wound. The bleeding should stop within ten minutes. If the bleeding does not stop, call a doctor immediately. Once the bleeding stops, clean the wound with running water, and remove any debris from the wound. Remember to clean the wound well. The water will often sting, and your baby will likely fight it, but this step is very important to reduce the chance of an infection. Minor bleeding may also occur at this time, but should stop quickly. Put a bandage on the wound if it is in an area where it is expected to make a lot of contact, or if the baby is touching the wound. Finally, remember to call a doctor if you notice any of these symptoms in your baby: Tenderness or inflammation, swelling, fever, or red streaks near the wound.

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