Scrapes and cuts are bound to happen. Children and the elderly are prone to these injuries. Scrapes, usually caused by falling are not usually dangerous and do not need professional medical treatment. Common cuts, which nick the capillaries, the smallest form of the arteries located close to the skin, generally need typical first aid care. However, sometimes scrapes and cuts go deeper causing arteries, veins, nerves or bones to be damaged. When this happens professional medical care is essential.
Scrapes and cuts on children
Scrapes and cuts are a fact of life when it comes to children. From the moment they begin to crawl it is important to be prepared to deal with them. When a child gets scrapes and cuts, calm the child and let them know you are there to help them. Abrasions, as most scrapes are known, can be painful because the outer layer of skin has literally been scraped off causing the blood vessels to break. This may cause the child to think the abrasion is worse than it is. As children get older protecting them from cuts gets harder. Keeping glass, paper shredders, and other sharp objects out of reach of children can help. However, even this is not fail proof. As children grow, they explore, learn how to ride bikes and become involved in sporting events making them susceptible to such injuries.
Scrapes and cuts on the elderly
Just as children are bound to get scrapes and cuts, so are the elderly. The progressive deterioration in balancing reflexes makes it easier for an elderly person to fall. Aging skin becomes thinner, making it tear easier. Elderly skin can tear from something as simple as bumping the corner of a table. This puts the elderly population at a high risk for these injuries. Scrapes and cuts on an elderly person take longer to heal because of the blood vessel changes that occur during the aging process.
Treating scrapes and cuts
Regardless of age, scrapes and cuts should be treated the same way. First check to make sure the wounds are not deep enough to have severed an artery or vein. If the cuts are deep or you see tissue or bone, get professional medical attention immediately. Try to stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound for fifteen minutes or until professional medical help arrives. If medical help is on the way, do not do anything else. If the wound will be treated at home, get the bleeding to stop, then wash the wound with soap and water, apply an antibacterial ointment and dress the wound. Check and redress the wound daily. If wound begins to swell, turn red or have an odor, seek professional medical help.
These injuries can happen even when performing everyday tasks. Children and the elderly are naturally more prone to them. Don’t get caught without the proper medical supplies or the knowledge you need to deal with scrapes and cuts.