As our little ones learn to walk, run and play, they often take a few tumbles and scrapes along the way (the rhyme wasn’t intentional but it’s kind of cute, don’t you think?)
Cute poems aside, one of the most common thing we see as parents of toddlers are scraped knees and hands. You little one goes from being pretty safe on the ground, crawling and bum scooting and suddenly they are up and at ‘em, teetering around like a chubby Bambi on ice. Falls are bound to happen, even in the older toddlers, the confident threenagers who think they are as fast as a rocket as they race around and sadly humbled just as quickly when they hit the deck. No matter how gracefully or hilariously they fall, scraped knees are painful and uncomfortable for kids and it can be confrontational for the parents too, depending on the severity and the drama surrounding the accident.
Fortunately, there are a couple of simple steps parents can take to treat scraped knees to help calm the situation as efficiently as possible:
Step 1: Clean the Area
Rinse the affected area with cool, clean water to remove any dirt or germs. If there isn’t a tap available you can use a water bottle or a damp cloth. Generally you’ll want to avoid using soap, as it can irritate the wound but if wipes are all you have on hand then they’ll do in a pinch. If you’re super organised and have a first aid kit handy, you can use a mild antiseptic solution diluted in water to flush out the area.
Step 2: Stop the Bleeding
If the scraped knee is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth, baby wipe (or T-shirt if there is nothing else around) until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding persists for more than a few minutes or is severe, get your little person to the doctor in case stitches are required.
Step 3: Treat the Area
After cleaning the wound and stopping the bleeding, the best thing to do is apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection. If you’re out and about, like at the park with no first aid kit handy then this step can be done later at home. Remember to keep little toddler hands out of the way, so they don’t get it in their eyes or mouth (we are trying to make the situation better, not add another layer of tears!)
Step 4: Cover the Area
Cover the scraped knee with a band-aid or gauze and tape to protect it and keep it clean. Kids also love a themed Band-Aid so if you need to sing ‘Let It Go’ as you put an Elsa bandage on, then so be it. Ideally you’ll change (or at least check) the bandage daily or as needed (singing mandatory), depending on how severe it was and what other mess your child gets themselves into in the following days. Look for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge and take them to a doctor if things are looking infected.
Step 5: Manage Pain and Discomfort – Cue BodyICE Kids!
BodyICE to the rescue! Scraped knees can carry a lot of heat and be pretty painful for kids, especially in the first few days. Applying a cold compress or cute, animal themed ice pack to the area for 10-15 minutes at a time, several times a day will help reduce inflammation and swelling and soothe pain naturally. Not to brag or anything but our BodyICE Kids ice packs not only make kids smile, but they also have convenient straps to help hold them in place, which is especially useful for wriggly little toddlers.
Step 6: Big Hugs
It goes without saying, and this isn’t really a last step, but it’s part of the entire process from the first collision or stack, all the way to the final ripping off of the Band-aid. Comfort and reassurance is key as they recover from their scraped knee. Let them know that it's normal to get bumps and bruises as they grow and explore, and that you're there to help them feel better. Offer plenty of hugs and cuddles, and distract them with fun activities and games to take their mind off the pain.
Although scraped knees are a common injury among toddlers, with the right treatment, and a calm, confident attitude, kids can feel reassured and they can heal quickly and without complications. By following these simple steps, you can help your little ones feel better and get back to playing and exploring in no time.