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First Aid for Cuts and Wounds

First Aid for Cuts and Wounds

Children are full of energy and will often get small or minor injuries while playing. Some of these injuries can be wounds from tripping and falling or cuts from handling sharp objects like scissors. Parents should be prepared and know basic first aid for cuts and wounds.

Wounds can occur on any part of the body. Most minor wounds can be treated at home. In this article, learn how to apply first aid for cuts and wounds.

Key Points in Treating Cuts and Wounds

Though some wounds may be minor and can heal on their own without more than a bandaid, some cases may be more serious. It is important to clean and protect the wound from infection.

Here are other tips to remember:

  • Remember to stop the bleeding. Do this by applying pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze.
  • Remember to clean the wound using cool water.
  • Always protect the wound with bandages until it has formed a scab.
  • Keep the wound clean while it is healing. Cover the wound with a bandaid if it is likely to get dirty or irritated.
  • Always be mindful and observant for any signs of infection.
  • Immediately seek medical attention if you cannot stop the wound from bleeding, or if you suspect a more serious injury.

How to Apply First Aid for Cuts and Wounds

Here are the steps to performing first aid on various cuts and wounds.

Calm your child

If your child is crying due to pain or shock from the wound, the first step is to calm them down. This can make treatment of the wound easier as your child will become more cooperative. Comfort your child and inform them of how you can help treat the wound.

Wash your hands

The next step in applying first aid for cuts and wounds is to wash your hands. Properly wash your hands with soap and water to make sure that your hands are clean. This will help ensure that the wound will not get infected and to prevent serious complications from developing.

Stop the bleeding

If the wound is bleeding, you have to stop it. You can stop it by applying firm pressure on the wound with a clean cloth or gauze. Keep the pressure until it stops bleeding.

Clean the wound

Once you have stopped the bleeding, assess your child’s wound. If you notice that the wound is shallow, but has some dirt or grit, then clean it. You can use tweezers and warm water to remove the dirt. Do not agitate the wound by scrubbing.

Bandage the wound

Once the wound is clean, cover it with a bandage. Regularly replace it until the wound forms a scab. The dressing protects the wound and prevents it from getting infected. This also stops the wound from forming and oozing pus and reduces the pain your child may feel.

Sometimes, the wound may get infected from the adhesive found in the bandage. You can use antibiotic ointments to address this issue. Make sure to confirm with a doctor before proceeding with any kind of medication.

Keep watch

If the wound has formed a scab, you can expose it to the open air without a bandage. This promotes the healing of the wound. Be mindful, however, that if there is a high chance for the wound to get dirty, or for the scab to peel, then it is better to keep the bandage. Some wounds may take longer to heal than others. Regularly change the dressing or bandage when it gets wet or dirty. Be mindful and observe your child if the wounds develop any infection.

Use ointment

To prevent infection, you may use a topical ointment or other herbal remedies. But use the latter with caution. Always consult your doctor.

First aid for cuts and wounds

Symptoms to Watch Out for

Your child may have developed an infection from the wound if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Redness of skin
  • Increased pain
  • Warmth or swelling of the wound
  • Unnatural odor coming from the wound
  • Fever
  • Your child may feel under the weather

When Should I Call My Doctor?

Most minor wounds are easily treated at home with first aid. More serious wounds, however, may need medical attention and may require a trip to the hospital.

Immediately call your doctor if you notice any of these:

  • There is a large amount of bleeding that does not immediately stop
  • The wound is very deep wound
  • It is a puncture wound
  • There is a deep laceration over a joint (knees, knuckles, wrist)
  • A human or animal bite is the cause of the wound
  • You are unable to clean the wound
  • Your child has not had a tetanus vaccination in the last five years
  • If the wound does not close despite attempts to control the bleeding, go to the hospital as it may need stitching
  • The wound is located near the eyes, ears, or genital areas

You must rush to the emergency room if you find yourself in any of these situations:

  • A body part or a fingertip is cut off
  • The blood is spurting out of control
  • There is bleeding to the point that the bandages are soaked with blood


While most minor injuries can be treated with first aid, that does not mean that parents should not be vigilant in preventing future mishaps.

Parents can adopt these strategies to prevent their children from getting wounds:

  • Childproof your homes
  • Make your kids wear shoes when playing outside
  • Be attentive when your kids use sharp objects like scissors, pencils or pins
  • Use protective gear when needed like when biking or playing sports

Key Takeaways

Children will always be curious and want to play. Allow them to explore and participate in activities freely, but educate them on how to be safer.

Most minor cuts can heal on their own with simple first aid. But as with any other condition, if the child is in extreme pain and there is a major injury, seek medical attention immediately. It is important for the wound not to get infected, which can lead to other more serious complications.

Learn basic first aid for cuts and wounds and other common conditions like burns to be better prepared for any accidents.

You can find more information on Healthy Habits here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


First Aid: Cuts, https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cuts-sheet.html Accessed April 30, 2020

Cuts, Grazes and Lacerations,  https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Cuts_grazes_lacerations/ Accessed April 30, 2020

Cuts and Scrapes in Children: First Aid, https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=1046&language=english Accessed April 30, 2020

Cuts and Wounds of the Face, https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=cuts-and-wounds-of-the-face-90-P02803 Accessed April 30, 2020

First Aid Guide for Parents & Caregivers,  https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/First-Aid-Guide.aspx Accessed April 30, 2020

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Written by Sky Abundo Updated May 18
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel