If you have a child, I’m sure at some stage you’ve had to deal with a cut or a wound. Some children are more prone than others to get hurt. Buts its good to know what to do when your child does get a cut*.
There are 6 steps to follow:
1. Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the cut.
Hygiene is essential when dealing with an open wound. If you haven’t washed your hands, you could be spreading more infection into the wound.
2. Wash the cut with plenty of water.
More than 90% of infections can be curbed by just washing the cut well. Ideally, put your child’s hand or leg (or whatever part is cut) under cool running water. Ensure you remove all mud, gravel or any other logged particles. You can use your hand to gently dislodge the particles. Any particle left behind has potential to make the wound get infected**.
3. Apply Savlon
Once the wound is thoroughly cleaned, pat it dry with sterile gauze pad. Then apply some Savlon (Savlon does not burn, Dettol does!). You can put the Savlon on a clean sterile cotton or gauze pad and gently pat it over the cut.
4. Apply Betadine ointment
Apply some betadine ointment over the cut. Do not rub it in. But just gently spread it over the cut with your fingers.
(If the cut is very small and has stopped bleeding, you can omit this step and directly put a band-aid.)
5. Dress the wound
Place a sterile gauze pad or some sterile gauze over the wound, such that it completely covers it. Secure it in place with medical tape. Do not put too much because it can be quite painful to pull it out the next day!
6. On- going care
The dressing should be changed every 24 hours. If the dressing gets wet, it should be immediately changed. Gently remove the tape and take out the gauze. Check the wound thoroughly. If the area looks infected or there is a swelling, immediately take the child to the doctor. (Also, if your child gets a fever, please speak to your doctor, it could be a sign of infection). If the wound is healing and has dried a bit, you can wipe it again with savlon and then apply neosprin powder (This is an antibiotic powder and helps in drying out the wound faster). Close up the wound with sterile gauze and tape. Once you see a scab form, you can stop dressing the wound.
* Please note that this is first aid for minor cuts and wounds. If the wound looks deep or is gushing a lot of blood, please do take your child to a hospital. Wash the wound and then press it down (apply pressure) with a sterile gauze pad to stop the bleeding. Keep changing the pad till you reach the hospital.
** If your child has followed his immunization schedule properly, you need not worry about tetanus upto the age of 6. If you are not sure about it, please check with your doctor.