As a parent, you quickly get used to the everyday bumps, scrapes, and bruises that come with seeing your little one explore the world. But did you know that every year, more than 9.2 million children end up in the emergency room 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 to 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 it doesn’t stop bleeding, then 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 very deep or has anything in it.
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 obvious. 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 serious injuries. They’re a common way that kids hurt themselves.
The impact of a fall can put a strain on 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. You should also wrap the area up tightly to support it. That way, 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 important to take these injuries seriously and get them checked out straight away. Without medical attention, a serious head injury could put your child’s life at risk.
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 symptoms of a concussion. 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.
5. Eye Injuries
Detecting eye injuries in your child can be hard, as you can’t always seem the damage. Tell-tale signs are black eyes or bleeding in the white of their eye.
If they can communicate, then 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
Ingesting medicine or cleaning fluids can cause a world of damage to your child’s body. These include medication that they regularly have. If they have too much, this can still be dangerous.
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 very common injury in toddlers because their bones are still soft and move out of place easily. 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 easily work their way under their skin.
Getting them out is important 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 easily, you may need to prick the skin to get at it. Once it’s out, make sure to clean the area using an antibiotic ointment.
9. Broken Teeth
If your child suffers a tooth injury of any kind, 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, then 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, then 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 make sure they get the necessary help when they need it.
For more handy tips of looking after your kids, check out the rest of our parenting blog.