What should we do when our child is injured or burned by a heat source? Knowing how to take care of you and offer you first aid is essential to avoid infections.
The doctor Juan Jesus Hernandez, responsible for the Health Plan of the Department of Health and Relief, Red Cross, explains everything we need to know to care for wounds and burns in children.
How can we heal a deep wound to a child at home or stop bleeding until medical assistance arrives?
The action procedure that we have in Red Cross is: protect, alert, aid (PAS). This means that in the event of a deep wound or significant bleeding, the first thing to do is to make the place where we are safe, for example, if the child has cut himself with a glass that has been broken, the first thing to do is remove the crystals. Later, we will call the emergency service if gravity requires it, and then we will be able to attend to our son.
We must bear in mind that bleeding can endanger the life of the person, and if we are not able to control them, we must always make the emergency call or refer to a hospital. What are those measurements?
First, apply direct pressure on the focus of the hemorrhage, taking into account that the first dressing or the first gauze that we put on the skin we will never remove, because it is possible that a clot is being created and when removing that first bandage we could still increase the intensity of bleeding. Therefore, if we get soaked in blood, we would add another dressing to the initial one we already had on.
In the extremities it is convenient to increase the effectiveness of our pressure by making a limb lift above the heart, which will also help us control bleeding. Pressure can be done at the arterial control point, both in the arm and in the groin and at the roots of the limbs. If, with elevation, we have not managed to control the bleeding, if blood continues to come out, if the child begins to be tachycardic, sweaty or very pale, we must transfer him to a health center.
In the same way, a wound that is out of the ordinary, always must be assessed by a healthcare team, and cleaned and cured by the nursing staff. With everything that common sense tells us is out of the ordinary, always the best idea is that we transfer the child to a health center.
What does a wound look like when infected?
Infected wounds appear unsightly, the edges are inflamed, and the wound environment may be red. It is very common for this to occur in wounds that have broken edges, with recesses, projections and recesses, in which it is easier for the infection to appear, there may even be a swelling in all the skin that is around this wound, and if has evolved more in those days, it can even appear that tissue destruction, that accumulation of dead white blood cells which is pus, which in some cases, we can notice that it is coming out of the edges or the wound bed.
How can we know if a wound needs stitches and the child needs to be taken to the hospital?
The decision to suture a wound always has to come from the healthcare team. At home, we may think that a wound needs suturing when there is a significant separation of the edges of the wound, especially and very frequently, when they are incised wounds, which can be done with a cutting material such as a knife.
Wounds that bleed may also require stitches. Keep in mind that, a wound after 4 to 6 hours after it has occurred can never be sutured. Therefore, if we suspect that the child's wound needs stitches, it is best that we go quickly to a health center.
What should we never do when caring for a wound or burn in a child?
Perhaps the most frequent may be the use of an antiseptic as a substitute for a good wash. When we have a wound, the first thing is to wash it well. This washing with soap and water is essential to treat the wound, everything we do afterwards will help us, but it cannot replace this washing.
In general, a common failure is to use pharmacological treatments with children within what is a wound care. Antibiotic medications or ointments, for example are treatments that should be prescribed by medical personnel and that the parents or guardians of the children cannot decide that it should be administered.
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