At home treatments for minor summertime injuries
It’s that time of the year again. The days are getting longer and warmer and the kids are out of school. It’s finally summer! We at the Pediatric Center know that along with the sunshine and fun come summertime injuries. Not every injury is serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor and knowing how to treat these minor summertime injuries at home is a skill that any parent should have. We would like to give you a small guide to treating some of the most common injuries your child might experience this summer, and tips on knowing when a trip to the doctor is in order.
The most common minor summertime injuries:
- Insect bites/stings
- Minor cuts and scrapes
Sprains occur when the ligaments of a joint are twisted or wrenched causing pain and or swelling, but not dislocation. Something as simple as rolling an ankle can cause a sprain, and all but the most minor of sprains need to be seen by a doctor. Minor sprains can be treated at home by applying the elements of R.I.C.E.
- Rest – rest the sprained limb.
- Ice – apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to affected area for 20 minutes every hour.
- Compress – to prevent or remove swelling, wrap the sprain lightly in an ace bandage.
- Elevate – if possible elevate the sprain above the level of the heart.
After you have applied the R.I.C.E. method of first aid you may give your child an-over-the-counter NSAID pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Make Sure to read and follow the warnings, instructions, and dosing directions on the packaging. Not only will these help with the pain, but they will also help reduce swelling. Monitor the sprain for the next 24-48 hours while continuing treatment, if it does not get better, or if it worsens, see a doctor.
Insect bites and stings are very common in children during the summer months. Most of the time these are very minor and easily treated injuries. Things get more complicated if your child has an allergic reaction. If your child is having difficulty breathing, dizziness, fainting, hives, or swelling in the face call 911. Otherwise follow these simple steps to treat the bite or sting.
- Remove the stinger. You will want to scrape the stinger out with a fingernail rather than pinch it with tweezers. Squeezing the stinger may release more venom.
- Wash the area with soap and water.
- Treat any symptoms by by giving your child an appropriate dose of acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or antihistamine. If your child is under the recommended age for these medications call your doctor first. For itching apply calamine lotion or a mixture of baking soda and water to the site. Aloe Vera can be used to heal the bite.
Minor cuts and scrapes are easy to come by, luckily they are also relatively easy to treat. If your child has a puncture wound and has not had a tetanus shot in the last 5 years, or the wound is deep enough that stitches are needed, see a doctor.
- Wash your hands.
- Clean the wound.
- Stop the bleeding.
- Apply antibacterial ointment.
- Cover the wound.
- Watch for infection.
- Change bandages as appropriate.
Sunburns happen. Either you forgot the sunscreen, forgot to reapply, or just didn’t realize it was that sunny. Regardless of how it happened, the treatments still apply.
- Apply a compress – The first thing you want to do is to cool the skin down. Applying a compress dipped in either cold water or Witch Hazel can offer some relief. Witch hazel is a natural astringent and has been shown to have long lasting anti-inflammatory properties.
- Soak – soaking in a cool bath will help cool and soothe the sunburn, adding baking soda or vinegar to your bath can reduce pain, itching, and inflammation.
- Moisturize and heal – the skin is damaged and dry, applying Aloe Vera not only soothes the burn, but it actually helps with the healing.
- Hydrate – make sure your child drinks plenty of water to counteract the drying effects of the sunburn.
- Rest – Sunburns HURT! Have your child take it easy to avoid further injuring their skin and providing an opening for infection.
Here at the Pediatric Center we know there are any number of ways your child may hurt themselves this Summer, it is best to be prepared. Making sure to have a few key treatments and medications on hand can make all the difference.
- Children’s Ibuprofen
- Children’s acetaminophen
- Children’s antihistamine
- Antibacterial ointment
- Aloe Vera
- Ace bandages
- Calamine lotion
Now that you have a well stocked arsenal to treat minor summertime injuries, get out there and PLAY!
If you believe your child has had an especially rough summer, make sure to schedule an appointment with your Idaho Falls pediatrics at The Pediatric Center. We can help you determine the best course of action for anything that comes your way concerning your child’s health and safety. Also, be sure to check out our Parent Education center which covers many other childhood medical conditions such as:
- Ear Infection
- Febrile Seizures
- Sleep Problems
- …and much more.
We pride ourselves in being the best pediatric authority in Idaho Falls and our pediatricians have extensive training and experience so as to provide you and your child with the best pediatric care possible. We offer two convenient locations in eastern Idaho to serve you and we accept most major insurance plans and Medicaid. With flexible office hours and a professional support staff, The Pediatric Center is the best place to take your children when summer fun results in bumps and bruises.