Children are often subject to a lot of scrapes and scratches throughout their younger years. Between running around on the playground and sports, it’s almost impossible to avoid some sort of injury. The more serious injuries, like a child’s broken bone or an injury to the head, may require a doctor’s visit, but teaching children to be careful and cautious might help prevent some of these from occurring.
Cuts, Bruises, and Scrapes
Kids fall down; a lot. This means that they are bound to get a few bumps and bruises along the way. While these might seem like minor problems, if not cleaned or treated properly, they can lead to infection or take longer to heal.
To treat small scrapes and scratches, rinse the affected area with running water until it is clean. Use a mild soap if necessary, then apply some antibiotic ointment and cover with a band-aid. If the cut is large or deep, head to The Urgency Room, as well as if the area becomes red and swollen, or you see pus which can mean infection.
Back and Shoulder Problems
Kids who attend school are likely to use a backpack to store all of their materials. While this is a convenient item, sometimes it can cause shoulder or back issues. If a child carries their bag on one shoulder or uses one that is much too heavy, it can result in poor posture, muscle strain, and long-term back problems if not corrected.
Make sure that your child carries his or her backpack using both straps. This will help prevent overusing one shoulder and potential back pain throughout the school year. You should also make sure that their bag does not weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight.
Strains and Sprains
If you have an active child who plays sports, chances are you might encounter a sprain or strain of some sort down the road. A strain or sprain occurs when a ligament (sprain) or muscle (strain) is stretched beyond their normal limit. A strain usually heals within a few days, but a sprain might take a week or longer, depending on how severe the injury is.
While it’s not completely preventable, there are some things to take into consideration in order to prevent your child from potentially twisting their knee or ankle.
- Make sure they are properly warmed up. This will likely happen at practice and before a game, but if they are going to do some drills at home, make sure they have warmed up completely before starting.
- Follow the warning signs. If you or their coach notices that they are favoring one leg or they mention they are feeling pain somewhere, encourage them to rest for a bit. Not bothering to rest a sore ankle or knee can result in a more serious injury.
- Use proper padding and equipment.
A broken bone can happen just about anywhere and any time. More often than not, children will put their arms out to catch them when they fall, which can sometimes result in a broken wrist or elbow. While you can’t always prevent a broken bone from occurring, you can take some preventative measures for times when they might be more likely to be injured.
If your child is heading out for a bike ride in the summer or gearing up to snowboard in the winter, making sure they have the proper protection will help prevent broken bones. A helmet, knee pads, and wrist pads are all great options.
Like sprains, strains, or fractures, an active child is bound to hit their head at some point. Head injuries can be a small bump or result in a more serious concussion. If your child seems like their normal self after the result of a bump to the head, have them ice the area and get plenty of rest, but watch them closely as it’s crucial to be aware of warning signs to a more serious injury.
Signs of a concussion:
- Passing out - even if it’s very brief
- A severe headache
- Difficulty waking up
If your child passes out and has difficulty waking up or they indicate tingling and weakness in their arms, call 911 immediately. If they show signs of confusion, a headache, sleepiness, or vomiting head to The Urgency Room for treatment. Head injuries should never be taken lightly, so make sure your child gets the proper care as quickly as possible.
Treat Your Child’s Injury at The Urgency Room
While it’s impossible to prevent every single injury to your child that might occur, having the proper knowledge for how to care for them is essential. If you suspect an injury might be more serious than first glance, don’t spend long waiting times in the emergency room. Head to your nearest Urgency Room in Eagan, Vadnais Heights, or Woodbury to be treated by board-certified emergency physicians in less time so you kids can get back to being active again.