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A Guide to Baby First Aid

If your baby has a skin wound...

Skin wounds
Most minor cuts can be treated at home; more serious wounds will require medical attention. Your child may need stitches or a dose of DTaP vaccine, which protects against tetanus.
Minor cuts and scrapes
If the injury barely breaks the skin, wash the affected area with soap and water, pat it dry, and then apply an antibiotic ointment (such as bacitracin or Neosporin) and a nonstick bandage. Keep the wound clean and replace the bandage at least once a day to prevent it from falling off and becoming a choking hazard (watch to make sure your child doesn't pull it off, as well). Call a doctor if the area becomes swollen or red, there is a pus discharge, or your child has a fever or acts ill.
A bruise results when blood vessels are damaged, causing bleeding under the skin. The area may be red or purplish, then fade to yellow-green. Apply a cold compress (wrapped in a cloth) to decrease pain, swelling, and further bleeding. Call your doctor for large bruises, swelling, ongoing pain, or abdominal bruising.
Deep cuts
If the wound is severe and continues to bleed for more than five minutes, call 911 and apply firm pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth to the bleeding site. Elevating the injured limb above the heart will help control bleeding. If a sharp object such as a nail is deeply embedded in the skin, don't remove it. Wrap it in bandages (to keep it from moving), and seek medical care.