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Preventing Skin Infection

As many as 67,000 children end up in the hospital every year thanks to skin infections. And while every mom on the planet knows the basic protocol for keeping cuts clean, putting that plan into action isn't easy when you've got a squirmy toddler on your hands. Next time, try these little-kid twists from Albert Yan, M.D., chief of pediatric dermatology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia:

the standard advice: Scrub up.
toddler twist: For cuts on his hands, fill up the sink with soapy water, put some toys in there, and have him search for them under the bubbles.

the standard advice: Apply antibiotic ointment.
toddler twist: Put the ointment on and then immediately distract him with something he loves. This way, he'll have something else to think about besides wiping off the gooey stuff before you have a chance to put on a bandage.

the standard advice: Keep it covered.
toddler twist: Those character bandages are kid-friendly for a reason: "Some kids like to wear them like a badge," Dr. Yan says. Stuck with a plain one? Put a sticker on top of it. He's still peeling it off? Try to be extra diligent with the ointment.

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