Scrapes are a common occurrence among children, especially those between the ages of five and nine. Scrapes remove the skin by rubbing or tearing it. Generally they are minor, will ooze more than bleed and can be treated at home. Occasionally they will remove several layers of skin or need attention from a health care professional, especially if the bleeding cannot be stopped, other tissues such as blood vessels, ligaments or bones are damaged or there is a deep cut. Scrapes occur when the body, especially a bony area, comes in contact with a rough surface such as cement, rocks or carpet. Most of them happen because of an accident or fall.
How To Handle New Scrapes
Before touching scrapes it is important to wash your hands with soap and warm water. Then dry your hands on a clean, lint free towel so no additional bacteria or foreign matter get in. Wash them with warm water and soap. If they are bleeding, try to stop the bleeding by elevating that part of the body and applying pressure for fifteen minutes. This can be done up to three times. If the bleeding is heavy and not slowing down after the first try, it is best to seek a health care professional immediately. Look at the scrapes and the area around them to see if there are other tissues or bones that are damaged. If you are not sure or the accident that caused the scrapes was severe, allow a health care professional to examine the victim. If they are minor and the bleeding has stopped or it is just oozing, wash them off again, then apply triple antibiotic cream to the wound. If the wound is small, covering it with a band-aid will work, however for most scrapes you will need to wrap it with a sterile non-adherent pad. Use adhesive tape to keep the pad in place.
Continuing Care Of Scrapes
Change the dressing at least once a day. If the bandage or sterile pad becomes wet or soiled, change it immediately. When changing the dressing, wash the scrapes with soap and warm water. Check daily for signs of healing and infection. If they look ok, apply the triple antibiotic cream and re-cover them. If they are not healing or you notice signs of infection such as redness, drainage, warmth or swelling, contact a health care professional immediately. By following these simple steps, most scrapes can be cared for at home, without involving a health care professional. However, if it has been ten years since a tetanus shot was received, the wound is deep, really dirty or becomes infected, do not wait. Even simple injuries, under some circumstances, may need the attention of a medical professional.