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Both of these types of injuries are a common occurrence in children. Cuts are normally caused by a sharp object and scrapes are often caused by the skin brushing up against a rough surface. If you don't know how to treat cuts and scrapes properly, even mild cases, they can become infected. If the injury is serious, seek immediate medical attention.
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Stop the Bleeding
Apply direct pressure, firm but gently, over the affected area. Use a clean bandage or absorbent cloth like a towel if possible. If you do not have one available, use your fingers. If blood soaks through the cloth or bandage, apply a second layer without removing the first - this will help prevent tearing off coagulating blood cells. Holding an affected limb above the level of the heart can also help stop the bleeding. Bleeding should stop within five to ten minutes.
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Clean the Wound
Once the bleeding stops, the injury should be cleaned as soon as possible.
Hold the affected area under cool running water or use a cup and pour water over the cut or scrape. If you have soap, you can use it to clean around the area but try not to get it in the wound because this can cause irritation. You can also use a normal saline solution to clean site.
Use clean tweezers to remove any debris like dirt. If the tweezers are not clean, soak it in some alcohol for a few minutes and rinse with hot water before using. If the cut begins to bleed again while removing debris, reapply pressure as mentioned above.
Hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and iodine should be avoided because they can be toxic to healthy cells. This can interfere with tissue repair.
Clean at least twice a day.
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Promote Healing Naturally
Honey has helped heal wounds for thousands of years. It is a natural antiseptic that fights bacteria, including those resistant to antibiotics. Besides destroying bacteria, honey helps reduce swelling and relieve pain. Apply honey similar to applying an antibiotic ointment and cover with a bandage. Change at least twice a day (clean with each change).
Bananas are a great remedy to treat cuts and scrapes. Put the inside part of the banana peel over the wound and secure it with a bandage. Change every three to four hours.
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Other Natural Remedies
- Apply aloe vera gel - acts as an antibacterial, decreases swelling and reduces pain.
- Apply a chamomile poultice - stops oozing and accelerates healing.
- Apply goldenseal paste - fights infection.
- Eat foods high in vitamin C - strengthens the immune system and stimulates collagen production.
Notify a health care provider if the cut or scrape does not heal properly and be sure your child is up to date with his or her tetanus shot.
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Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine" Prima Publishing 1998
Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen, Bottom Line's Healing Remedies (2006)
Photo in the public domain.
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