As a parent, you quickly get used to the everyday bumps, scrapes, and bruises of seeing your little one explore the world. But did you know that more than 9.2 million children end up in the emergency room every year due to accidental injuries? For a further 12,000 children or young adults, these injuries prove fatal.
You can keep your child as safe as possible by familiarizing yourself with common child injuries. Doing this will help you understand the difference between minor and major injuries – and it’ll make it easy to decide what to do next.
9 of the Most Common Child Injuries You Should Know About
Then you’re in the right place! Read on to find out about nine common ways that kids hurt themselves.
1. Cuts and Scrapes
When it comes to how to get hurt, cuts and scrapes are textbook injuries, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore them.
Cleaning these injuries is vital to stop them from getting infected. Once the cut has stopped bleeding, you should start by rinsing out any debris until the cut is clean. Then apply some antibiotic ointment and a bandaid or bandage.
If you apply pressure to a cut for ten minutes and don’t stop bleeding, it may need stitches. In this case, your child needs medical attention. You should also take them to the doctor or hospital if the cut is intense or has anything.
Cuts and scrapes often occur when children fall off bikes or scooters – you can learn more here.
2. Broken Bones
When it comes to injured children, broken bones are every parents’ worst nightmare. These can occur at any time but are often the result of a fall or sudden impact.
If your child breaks a bone, it might not immediately be apparent. It will hurt to press on the area around the fracture. Or for them to move that part of their body. There may also be some swelling around the break.
You should take them to the ER for an x-ray and get their bone reset. If the bone has broken through the skin, you should phone 911 straight away.
3. Sprains and Strains
Broken bones aren’t the only injuries your child could take away from a fall or collision. Sprains or strains are less severe injuries. They’re a common way that kids hurt themselves.
The impact of a fall can strain your child’s muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Doing this is especially common if they land at an awkward angle.
Tearing a muscle can be extremely painful. It also takes a long time for your child’s body to repair the damage.
It helps if you apply ice to the affected area. It would help if you wrapped the area up tightly to support it. The muscle doesn’t have to work as hard and can use more energy to recover.
If you can keep your child still with the area elevated, this will also help.
Keep an eye on the injury. If it doesn’t get better with time or starts to get worse, they should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Head injuries are a big part of kids getting hurt. It’s essential to take these injuries seriously and get them checked out immediately. A severe head injury could put your child’s life at risk without medical attention.
If your child loses consciousness after a head injury, you should take them to the ER, no matter how quickly they come around.
Following any head injury, you should keep an eye out for concussion symptoms. These include:
- Dizziness and confusion
- Blurry vision
- A persistent headache
Keep a close eye on your child for at least 48 hours after a head injury. If you are at all concerned, take them to the hospital immediately. Click here to know more about what to do for concussions in children.
5. Eye Injuries
Detecting eye injuries in your child can be challenging, as you can’t always see the damage. Tell-tale signs are black eyes or bleeding in the white of their eye.
If they can communicate, ask them to describe what they’re seeing. You can also check your child’s vision and eye control by asking them to follow the movement of your finger.
An eye injury could also result in an infection. Make sure you clean any injury properly to avoid this.
6. Ingesting Poison
To avoid this risk, take the time to keep any cleaning fluid or medication far out of your child’s reach. If they do ingest anything, take them to the ER immediately.
7. Nursemaid’s Elbow
Nursemaid’s elbow or pulled elbow is a prevalent injury in toddlers because their bones are still soft and move out of place quickly. When you swing them, it’s easy to pull their elbow out of place.
Fortunately, it is very easy to fix this type of injury. A doctor will be able to reset your child’s elbow without much difficulty.
Your child can pick up a splinter from anywhere, especially if they like to play outside. Bits of wood, thorns, or pieces of gravel can quickly work their way under their skin.
Getting them out is essential to stop your child from getting an infection.
Remove the splinter using a sterilized pair of tweezers. If you can’t get at the splinter quickly, you may need to prick the skin to get at it. Once it’s out, cleans the area using an antibiotic ointment.
9. Broken Teeth
If your child suffers a tooth injury, this can be very stressful and traumatic for both you and them. Often their gums will bleed heavily, so the problem looks worse than it is. Nevertheless, acting could help save a tooth.
It’s best to get your child to a dentist as soon as possible if they experience loose, broken, or sensitive teeth.
If they already have their adult teeth and knock one out completely, fixing it back in the gum sock could save the tooth. Make sure you wash it before you do it.
If the tooth is a baby tooth, you don’t need to do this. A new one will still grow through.
Keep These Child Injuries in Mind!
It’s impossible to protect your children all the time. Nevertheless, keeping these child injuries in mind will ensure they get the necessary help when they need it.
For more handy tips for looking after your kids, check out the rest of our parenting blog.