Toddler First Aid

Cuts and scrapes

What you should do:
With a minor break in the skin or a raspberry, cleaning the wound is your first step. Place the finger, knee or elbow (or whatever the extremity) under running water, or drag a wet washcloth over the owie. Then pat dry with a fresh towel. Bacitracin or Polysporin ointment can be dabbed on next, but experts say this isn’t necessary for preventing infection.

“Any time the skin is broken, antibiotic ointment can be used, but our immune systems work better,” maintains Saladino. “Ointment provides a barrier and prevents contamination.” (Experts recommend that you avoid Neosporin because some children are allergic to neomycin, an active ingredient.) Cover the abrasion with a cartoon character bandage, which will not only comfort and delight your child, but also keep out the dirt when he goes outside to play. With a raspberry-like abrasion, apply antibiotic ointment first, so the bandage won’t stick to the wound. The best reason to cover the wound? “Out of sight, out of your child’s mind” is the experts’ thinking on this.