Giving babies First-Aid

Babies are prone to accidents that may hurt them or cause injury. Fortunately, the majority of these cases can be treated at home without professional medical assistance. Here is what you can do in the following cases:


• Most falls during this learning period will not cause serious injury. Bruises generally heal naturally over a week or so, without causing much pain.

• As long as the skin is not broken there is no need to bandage the area or otherwise cover it up.

• You can use an ice pack to reduce swelling and the black-and-blue discoloration of bruising. This should be applied for 15-minute periods several times a day during the first 48 hours. A pack of frozen vegetables or ice cubes and water in a plastic bag that is wrapped in a paper towel or wash cloth will do if an ice pack is not available. An ice pack may be alternated with a heat pack after 48 hours.

• Cuddle or feed the baby as you apply the ice pack on the injury.

You should call the doctor in the following cases:

• Bruises from falls such as falling off a bed or down a flight of stairs.

• You notice a bruise behind your baby’s ear after a head banging incident.

• Bruise does not heal/fade in two weeks.

• Baby is in pain for more than twenty four hours


Small cuts need only be cleaned and left to heal without bandaging. These are best treated as follows:

• Stop bleeding by lightly pressing with a clean towel or bandage.

• Check for glass, dirt or foreign material and remove it with cold running water.

• Wash with warm water and soap and pat dry with a clean towel.

• After cleaning, small cuts may be left to heal naturally.

• Deeper cuts will need an adhesive bandage to pull in the cut edges of the skin together and facilitate healing.


Superficial burns, called first-degree burns, can be treated as follows:

• Cool the area of the burn by submerging under water or using cool compresses for 10-15 minutes. Dry the area with a clean towel and cover it with a sterile bandage.

• Consult your doctor about acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or other medication to ease the pain.

• Do not apply powder, butter, or grease to avoid the risk of infection.

• First-degree burns usually heal in a few days.

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