Childhood accidents: when to see a doctor Childhood accidents: when to see a doctor

According to the World Health Organization, most childhood injuries take place in or outside the home. Get to know some of the most common accidents. 

As parents, we are always concerned about caring for our children. Yet whether it is falling off a bike or a dog bite, accidents happen, and many of these unexpected incidents can happen at home. A pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, Claire McCarthy explains that there are some cases may require seeing a doctor.

Cuts and scrapes due to falls

  • At home: Wash the injury with plenty of water (use antibacterial soap if it is dirty) and dry it with a piece of clean gauze. Repeat this process until the wound heals.
  • See a doctor: See your physician when the wound is very deep, if the bleeding doesn’t stop with pressure, if the edges of the wound turn red or if they are slightly open, and if the child has a fever.

Bumps and hematomas

  • At home: Most hematomas only need ice for inflammation.
  • See a doctor: If the eye or anywhere near the eye was hit and it turns red, go to the doctor. If the child was hit in the head and is vomiting frequently, or if ice is bit alleviating the pain, it is also important to see your doctor.

Animal bites

  • At home: The first step is to wash the injury with plenty of soap and water. “While not all animal bites need a trip to the doctor, it’s a good idea to call the doctor for advice…especially to sort out if there could be any risk of rabies,” explains Dr. McCarthy in the Harvard Health Blog. “If your child is bitten by someone else’s pet, ask about rabies vaccination and get the contact information for the pet’s owner,” she adds.