Preparing for Cuts and Scrapes
What do you get when you combine a toddler's unsteady walking skills with his unwavering explorer's instinct? A child who may become a walking safety hazard and a potential threat to pets, furniture, and your household's precious inanimate objects. Simply put, parents can expect toddlers to amass their fair share of cuts and scrapes, and parents of particularly active children may want to learn Zen breathing (as well as basic first aid, of course).
Most experts agree that experience is an important teacher and although parents should keep a close eye on their toddler and safety proof as much as possible, they should not overly limit a toddler's range of motion. For example, a toddler who takes a tumble running down a grassy slope will likely learn a valuable life lesson and choose to hold hands or slow down a bit the next time.
How to Be Prepared
The best way to be prepared for the inevitable cuts and scrapes is to:
- Sign up for a first aid class through the American Red Cross or another local agency. Have your spouse, older children, babysitters, and anyone else who cares for your child learn first aid as well.
- Keep first-aid supplies together in a box (a designated tackle or tool box works well for this) stored well out of children's reach.
- Keep a plethora of colorful Band-aids in an easy-to-reach place. After thoroughly cleaning cuts and scrapes with antibacterial soap and warm water, a Band-aid (even when not necessary) will often provide as much comfort to a toddler as Mommy's magic kisses.
- Remember that a cut or scrape that reddens, has an unpleasant odor, or otherwise discolors runs the risk of being infected and should be examined by a health care provider.