Baby Accidents; First Aid 101 – BabyCare Mag

If you’re a first-time mom, you may panic when your child gets hurt the first few times. That’s why many new moms will stock up on cabinet locks, corner guards for tables, outlet covers, and gates to keep their babies safe and sound.

While your child is still crawling, it’s pretty easy to control their movements. The challenge comes when they pass the one year mark and start being independent. Your fearless explorer will jump on the couch, put everything in their mouth, and happily spend the day turning faucets on and off!

It’s important to remember that accidents are bound to happen no matter how careful you are. So when your little one does get hurt, and unfortunately he will, follow these tips to treat your baby’s big and small boo-boos.

Caring for cuts and scrapes

Caring for cuts and scrapes

When your child first starts walking and eventually running, expect these types of injuries. The good news is most are usually minor. Follow these care rules:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water first before touching your baby’s wound. Use lukewarm water to wash off any blood then pat the area gently with gauze.
  • If the wound is still bleeding, apply pressure firmly for at least 5 minutes. Apply an antibacterial ointment after it has stopped bleeding then bandage it until it heals.
  • Call the doctor if the cut is deep or has been inflicted by a metal object, animal, or human bite. If heavy bleeding persists after applying pressure for more than 5 minutes, call the doctor.

Burns and scalds

Burns and scalds

A hot iron, a steaming cup of coffee…these are among the many things you never used to worry about in your life B.C. (before child). But now that you’ve got a curious crawler or new walker in the house, you need to prepare for a potential burn emergency.

A first-degree burn affects the outer layer of the skin and causes redness but no blistering. This is the only type of burn that should be treated at home.

  • Run cold water over the area of the burn for several minutes. Ice cold water will feel uncomfortable and may decrease blood flow to the affected area.
  • Ease the pain with aloe vera cream and cover with a damp gauze. Don’t apply ice.
  • Call the Doctor If…
    Your child has blistering burns (they’re second-degree burns, which affect the outer and underlying layer of skin)
  • The burn covers a large area but is not blistered
  • The burn is on the face, hands, feet, or genitals
    Call 911 If…
  • Your child is not breathing
  • Has suffered a serious burn such as an electrical burn
  • Has a blistering burn over a large area or needs immediate medical attention

Insect bites

Insect bites

Mosquitoes and bees love young skin. These bites can be painful, especially for a child. Be on the lookout for an allergic reaction and follow these tips:

  • Rub an ice cube or cold compress on a mosquito bite if your child is scratching it. Chamomile lotion also soothes bites.
  • You can also make a soothing paste using 3 tablespoons of baking powder and 1 of water.
  • Cut or file down your child’s fingernails to prevent breaking of skin and infection if they are itching persistently. You may ask your doctor if it’s okay to use hydrocortisone cream.
  • Bee stingers should not be pulled out with your finger or they will release more poison. Scrape the stinger off using a credit card or clean fingernail. Wash the area with soap and water and apply baking soda and water pate for quick relief.

Call the doctor if an insect bite is particularly large, painful, or looks infected. In rare cases, children have allergic reactions to bites which may be life-threatening.

Head bumps

Head bumps

Be brave. Your child has many goose eggs in his or her future! The trick is learning which ones are worth seeking medical advice. These are the cases where you should call a doctor:

  • If your child vomits or loses consciousness briefly after a head bump
  • If they seem irritable, tired, or generally out of it
  • If your child falls from a height of 3 feet or more
  • If they fell while being propelled on a swing or other toy



Babies are constantly putting things in their mouths which puts them at risk of choking. Encourage your child to cough, which may dislodge the object. Begin first aid if your child can’t breathe, cough, or cry; makes high-pitched noises while breathing in; is blue in the face; or loses consciousness.

Follow these steps for babies 12 months and younger. (For older children the technique is different. Call 911 for instructions.)

  • Lay the baby face down along your forearm, with her head lower than her chest.
    Follow these steps for babies 12 months and younger
  • Support the head with your hand around the jaw and under the chest, using your thigh for support.
  • Give up to five quick back blows between the infant’s shoulder blades, using the heel of your free hand.
  • If the child is still choking, turn her face up. Use your thigh or lap for support. Support her head, which should be lower than her chest. Place two fingers on the middle of her sternum (breastbone) just below the nipples and give five quick downward thrusts.
    If the child is still choking, turn her face up
  • If the baby is still choking, repeat back blows and chest thrusts. Have someone call 911.
  • If the baby loses consciousness, give infant CPR for a minute (call 911 for instructions). If you can see the object blocking the airway, try to remove it.



If you think your child has ingested poison, call the doctor immediately. Do not make your child vomit unless instructed to do so.

Any adult or teenager caring for children should take a basic course in first aid and CPR. To find a class, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross or American Heart Association.


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