Beatings, bruises and burns: natural remedies
Since when they begin to walk onwards, bruises, peeling, small wounds are the order of the day for children. Very often these are very minimal "accidents", which leave no consequences apart from a few scratches on the knees. Other times, however, although not serious, the blow is still a little more important and can provoke redness, swelling, pain. Ditto for sunburn or small burns: when there is a child in the house the precautions from this point of view are never too many, but the accident can always happen. Here's how to behave, in both cases.
In this article
- The remedies for bruises and bruises
- How to intervene: ice
- Anti-inflammatory ointment
- Pain reliever if needed
- Posture matters too
- When to go to the pediatrician or the emergency room
- The remedies for minor burns
- What to do in case of minor burns
The remedies for bruises and bruises
When a child falls or bumps into something, it is normal for a baby to form hematomaa (a bruise) more or less extensive, sometimes accompanied by edema (swelling). It happens because the blow causes the blood capillaries to rupture, which lose blood and accumulate in the surrounding tissues. Result: a purplish patch that gradually turns yellow, then disappears within a couple of weeks.
"Sometimes parents get scared because the situation can seem 'bad' with the affected area very swollen and red, but we must also consider that it is part of the child's physiology to respond in an 'exaggerated' way to stimuli, because it has different tissues than those of the adult, which tend to develop edema more easily, "he explains Piercarlo Salari, freelance pediatrician and head of the parenting support working group of the Del Paesena Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics (SIPPS).
How to intervene: ice
"In case of a minor trauma, the first thing to do is apply ice, which is a a excellent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever and, having a vasoconstrictive action, it limits the formation of edema (swelling) "advises Salari.
For it to be effective, ice must be applied as soon as possible after the fall (preferably within about ten minutes) and kept in contact with the injured area for about 10-15 minutes. But be careful: it should never be applied directly to the skin, but always wrapping it in a cloth (a kitchen towel is fine). Better still would be to use a rubberized canvas ice bag (always lined with a cloth), as it also adapts well to curved surfaces, such as those of an ankle or wrist.
A practical alternative to take with you are the instant ice bags (they are sold in pharmacies and just squeeze them hard to break the bubble that contains the coolant), which guarantee a cold effect for about 15 minutes.
After applying the ice you can move on to that of one anti-inflammatory ointment, for example one cream or a gel based on arnica and calendula. "They are among the most used products and within the reach of parents, because they favor the reabsorption of inflammatory fluid without side effects or particular contraindications".
Pain reliever if needed
Often children, especially young ones, complain a lot after a fall or a blow, partly from pain and partly from fright. The first thing to do is welcome their emotions: do not dismiss them with a "don't cry, it's nothing", but give them the opportunity to express their concern for what has just happened and for the evil they are feeling, even with tears. In many cases, a little pampering, ice and ointment are enough to make the pain go away, but if this is not the case and the child continues to feel pain it may be appropriate to give him, after hearing the pediatrician, a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.Read also: Emotional education: 7 PRACTICAL tips to better manage children's emotions
"The problem is that it is not always easy to understand if and how much the child is actually in pain"says Salari." A strategy could be to try to distract him and in the meantime try to understand how he reacts if you touch the part affected by the trauma ".
Posture matters too
"After the little accident, a recommendation for parents is to support the child's attitudes and behaviors"advises the pediatrician." If, for example, you are in the park and the little one wants to continue running and playing with friends, it means that he has recovered well and that his will can be respected, he must not necessarily be immobilized ".
"Conversely, it must be supported even if it shows that it wants to stay still, perhaps curled up in a position that helps him feel less pain. In this case, he should not be forced to move to be reassured that nothing serious has happened ".
When to go to the pediatrician or the emergency room
"A very useful first indicator of the child's condition is his behavior," says Salari. "If he is lively, he tries to move, he wants to resume playing, most likely nothing serious has happened. He must still be kept under control in the following hours, and if you see that struggles to move, that the area continues to swell despite the application of ice, or if the little one you feel tingling or a decrease in sensation, it is advisable to take him to the doctor or to the emergency room. "What to do immediately if the child shows obvious discomfort.
The remedies for minor burns
A jet of water that is too hot, a cup full of boiling broth that spills, too close contact with the iron or the fireplace, but also too prolonged exposure to the sun without adequate protection, or contact with chemicals details: unfortunately, it can happen that the child gets burned or, better, burns.
Burns - or burns - are divided in degrees, from the first - more superficial and light, to the fourth (very serious). The mildest burns (first degree) they are limited to the most superficial layers of the skin, which is red and swollen but also dry and without blisters. The pain is bearable. These burns heal quickly, in less than a week, with a replacement of the superficial skin that peels off. Only these burns can be treated at home: if a second degree is suspected (the skin is very red and painful, covered with blisters) or worse, call the doctor immediately or take the child to the emergency room.
What to do in case of minor burns
- Wet with cold running water, "both to cool down and to wash away any substances the child has come into contact with," Salari explains. Me too'application of ice can be useful, if there are no deep lesions;
- apply a moisturizing cream or gel that can promote re-epithelialization (for example preparations with hyaluronic acid);
- cover with sterile gauze for 24 hours, avoiding adhesives.
"The greatest risk of burns, even of the first degree, are over infections - explains Salari - and for this reason it is fundamental maintain maximum hygiene. We must consider that the burn causes discomfort, so the child tends to scratch himself in the following days and this, like the friction with the tissues, could favor the penetration of germs. "The above measures reduce this risk.Read also: Sunburn and children
Questions and answers
The child has fallen and has a contusion: how to intervene?
The first thing to do is to apply ice, which is an excellent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever and limits the formation of edema.
The child had a bruise: which ointments can be applied?
After putting on ice, you can apply an anti-inflammatory ointment, for example a cream or a gel based on arnica and calendula.
What to do if the child has suffered a small burn?
Wet with cold running water, both to cool and to wash away any substances with which the child has come into contact. It is then necessary to apply a moisturizing cream or gel capable of promoting re-epithelialization. Then cover with sterile gauze for 24 hours.