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Major or small, we can all think back to a time when we cut, scraped, or grazed ourselves. Sometimes all we needed was a band-aid, other times stitches. Either way, these unexpected accidents happen, especially for kids. Children love to play and sometimes when they’re monkeying around on the jungle gym or the playground, they fall and find themselves with a laceration. As a parent, it can be terrifying to find your son or daughter suffering from an open wound which is why understanding the difference between a deep wound and a shallow one is so important.
A laceration is a tear or opening in the skin caused by an injury. Lacerations may be small and need only minor treatment or may be large enough to require emergency medical care. Wounds such as cuts, scrapes, and lacerations are a split of the skin caused by an impact of some sort. It is common for children to sustain these types of injuries through play, sports, accidents, or ordinary day-to-day activities. Lacerations and other abrasions can happen in almost any area of the body. Depending on the area affected and the severity of the cut, there may be a lot of bleeding or very little.
Minor wounds do not usually require medical attention and can be managed with standard first-aid procedures at home. You should apply pressure to your child’s wound with a clean paper towel or cloth and after removing pressure, the bleeding should slow down or stop altogether. If bleeding continues, reapply pressure and take your child to their healthcare provider for further evaluation.
If bleeding has stopped or slowed, rinse the wound and surrounding area with water. If you can see any dirt or debris in the wound, use a pair of sanitized tweezers to remove any particles. Very small amounts of dirt are OK in grazes but if there are large amounts that you can’t remove, take them to a medical professional who can do it for you.
Lastly, cover the wound with a bandage. This will help to keep the wound clean and will protect the area as it heals. Keeping the wound covered also keeps the wound moist, which helps the healing process.
Like minor wounds, try to stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the injured area. If this doesn’t work and there is a large amount of bleeding that does not quickly stop, or the wound is very deep or is a deep puncture wound, or the wound is gaping apart, despite controlling the bleeding it may need closing with glue or stitches which will require a visit to their healthcare provider.
Stitches are special types of thread that hold wound edges together while they heal. Stitches help to stop bleeding, reduce scarring and decrease the chance of infection in the wound.
Steri-Strips are special adhesive bandages that can sometimes be used on shallow wounds instead of stitches. Steri-Strips perform the same functions as stitches.
Lacerations that involve the face, are longer than 1/2 inch, are deep, or are bleeding heavily, may require stitches.
If your child’s healthcare provider needs to place stitches or use Steri-Strips to close a laceration, you will be given specific instructions on how to care for the stitches. Treatment at home will be based on the place and size of the laceration, the type of stitches used, and any special needs noted by your child’s physician. Sometimes antibiotics are given to help prevent infection in the wound.
Some stitches dissolve and do not need to be removed while other stitches require removal. Your child’s provider will let you know when to return to have stitches removed. It’s important to know that you should not attempt to remove your child’s stitches at home.
For minor wounds, change the bandage whenever it becomes wet or dirty and replace it with a fresh one. Watch for signs of infection as the wound heals and if it seems to not be healing properly, take them to their healthcare provider for evaluation.
Typically, lacerations are no big deal but if your child’s wound doesn’t stop bleeding and the cut looks deep, your best bet is to have them looked at by a medical professional. Wounds can be scary, and no parent wants to witness their son or daughter bleeding, but rest assured, the experts at Chai Care will take great care of your child and will have them as good as new in no time!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.Feb 21, 2023
Kids are bound to injure themselves at some point or another. Sometimes it’s a broken bone after taking a hard fall, and other times it’s nothing more than a bruise while messing around with their friends. But every now and again a child can cut themselves and believe it to be “no big deal.” Usually, that is the case, unless the wound becomes infected. This is something a parent should keep a close eye on because when a cut or scrape becomes infected, it can lead to much more serious health problems that no parent wants for their child. Knowing the signs of an infected cut and how your child may act when having one is crucial so you can get it treated as quickly as possible before it gets worse.
Most people believe wounds are only caused by accidents, but the truth is anything that breaks the skin is considered to be a laceration because when the skin is broken, there is a risk of germs getting into the body and causing an infection. Skin is the body’s largest organ and helps protect it from bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live on its surface. Depending on the wound’s cleanness, depth, and size, will tell you how much care it needs.
Your healthcare provider will examine the wound and from there decide how they will go about treating it and the wound’s risk of infection. Clean wounds that aren’t contaminated with bacteria have the lowest risk of infection, making them much simpler to care for. Dirty or infected wounds, like an abscess, a deep scrape, or a cut, are a different story. These cuts need special treatment and monitoring to prevent infection. There are times when a wound is clean but there’s a risk of infection because of where it is located. Fluids and other contaminants may get into a wound that’s in an area with more bacteria such as the urinary tract, gastrointestinal system, or respiratory system. Dirt or a foreign object in the wound also can increase the risk of infection.
An infected wound typically gets worse instead of better. Any pain, redness, and swelling will usually increase in intensity making it obvious that the cut needs medical attention. In many ways, this is a good thing that the signs of infection are readily apparent. The first thing you should do with most small cuts and bruises is to apply first-aid. After doing this, monitor the wound for any of the following signs.
If the cut has scabbed over, but the scab keeps on growing, this could be a sign of infection underneath the top-layer skin.
Monitor the cut and speak to your child about what they are feeling. It’s important to make sure that the pain and swelling don’t keep increasing up to 48 hours after the initial injury.
If your child develops a headache or fever, you should take your little one to an urgent care facility for medical treatment. Rest assured, the experts at Chai Care will gladly help!
Most small to medium-sized wounds should heal within ten days. If this is not the case, visit your child’s healthcare provider for further examination.
Increased redness in the region is also a sign of infection. One of the most dangerous signs of infection is the presence of redness that appears to be tracing a path to your child’s heart. This must be treated as soon as possible.
Pay attention to discoloration, such as pus and fluid emerging from the wound.
When the wound is clean, your healthcare provider will close it by stitching the edges together in two separate layers. They will use dissolvable stitches to bring together the deeper layer of tissue under the skin. Then they will staple, tape, or stitch the skin over it. It’s important to note that healthcare experts don’t always close a wound right away. If there’s a chance a wound is contaminated, they will leave it open to clean it out, let’s say in the case that the wound is due to an animal bite. Closing an infected cut can trap bacteria inside which would lead to infection. When they’re sure no bacteria or other impurities remain, they will stitch or close the wound.
Sometimes, it’s best not to sew up a wound at all. If someone has lost a lot of tissues, it’s often beneficial to leave the wound open to heal through natural scar formation. Your child’s provider will also ask about their tetanus vaccine status, to make sure it’s up to date.
Before healing begins, the body gears up to defend itself against any infections. For the first couple of days, a wound may be swollen, red, and painful. This inflammation is a sign of the body’s immune system kicking in to protect the wound from infection. It is important to always keep the wound clean and dry to help the healing process. As the body does its self-healing, a scab begins to form over the wound on the outside. The scab’s job is to protect the wound as the damaged skin heals underneath. Underneath the scab’s defensive surface, new tissue begins to form.
Once the healing is finished, the scab dries up and falls off, leaving behind the repaired skin and a scar. The scar will be roughly 85% of the strength of normal skin and it will take a few months for the scar to be back to 100% strength of normal skin.
Serious wounds won’t heal overnight. It can take weeks for the body to build new tissue which makes at-home care important to prevent infection and minimize scarring. Make sure to keep the wound covered with a clean dressing until there’s no fluid draining from it. Your child’s healthcare provider will give you instructions on how to change the dressing and how often. It’s important to avoid getting the wound wet until further examination. Dirt in the water could seep into the wound and contaminate it. Also, there’s a risk that a wound might pull apart if it gets too wet. Lastly, make sure your son or daughter doesn’t pick or scratch the scab. A scab may itch as the skin underneath heals, but picking or scratching can rip the new skin underneath which will not only increase the healing time but will always make the scar worse.
The best way to help your child is to prevent an infection from ever happening. Any time your son or daughter gets a cut or scrap, the first step is to clean out the injury. Clean the wound with warm water for five minutes, then wash the surrounding area with soap. If there is still debris like glass or dirt in the wound, remove it, but be gentle and avoid pushing down so you don’t push it deeper into the cut. If you can’t remove all the debris or if you don’t feel comfortable trying to remove it yourself, go to an urgent care facility and the staff will do it for you.
Cuts and scrapes are extremely common among children which makes understanding the signs and symptoms of an infected wound so important. Even though infected wounds can have serious consequences, chances are the cut will heal itself on its own or your child’s healthcare provider will supply them with the proper treatment and medication, preventing a dangerous outcome. If the wound does not seem to be healing at home, take your little one to Chai Care and our trained experts will supply them with the care they need!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.Jan 30, 2023
As bad as breaking a bone or burning yourself can be, most consider infections to be worse due to their ability to spread and potentially come back again. Children are some of the most vulnerable people to contracting a virus because they typically have worse hygiene habits and are less knowledgeable of the signs and symptoms. Cellulitis is definitely one of those bacterial infections to watch out for because if left untreated it can lead to more serious issues.
Cellulitis is a deep bacterial infection of the skin that usually occurs after some type of trauma causes an opening in your child’s skin. Typically, the infection involves your child’s face, arms, and legs. In most cases, human or animal bites or injuries that occur in water can also cause infection and immediate treatment can help prevent the spread of cellulitis. In some cases, cellulitis is considered an emergency and your child’s healthcare provider may treat your child in the hospital depending on the severity of their condition.
Cellulitis is a tricky infection because many of the symptoms may appear as something less significant. If your child has swollen or warm skin, bruising, chills, a fever, or a red streak from the original site of pain, there is a good chance they have cellulitis. In some cases, cellulitis is considered an emergency and you should consult your child’s healthcare provider if the area affected is causing your child to complain of numbness, tingling, or other changes in a hand, arm, leg, or foot, if the skin appears black, or if the area that is red and swollen is around your child’s eyes or behind the ears.
The diagnosis of cellulitis is usually based on the medical history and physical examination of your child. Blood and skin samples may also be taken to confirm the diagnosis and the type of bacteria present.
Specific treatment for cellulitis will be determined by your child’s healthcare provider based on your child’s age, overall health, and medical history. However, treatment may include oral or intravenous antibiotics, warm, wet dressings on the infection site, surgical intervention, and rest.
If your child’s arm or leg is affected, their provider may also have you elevate the extremity and decrease the amount of activity. Also, based on the physical examination, your child’s physician may treat your child in the hospital depending on the severity of the cellulitis. In the hospital, your child may receive antibiotics and fluids through an intravenous catheter.
Complications can be reduced with prompt and accurate treatment by your child’s provider. The most common complications include meningitis, septic arthritis, and an infection of a joint caused by glomerulonephritis.
To prevent cellulitis, protect the skin from cuts, bruises, and scrapes. This isn’t easy, especially for active kids or those who play sports. It’s best if your child uses elbow and knee pads, wears a bike helmet when riding, shin guards, long pants, long-sleeved shirts while hiking in the woods, and sandals on the beach.
If your child does get a cut or scrape, wash it well with soap and water followed by applying an antibiotic ointment, then cover the wound with an adhesive bandage or gauze and lastly, check the wounds often for the first few days to see if any signs of cellulitis begin.
You should contact your provider if any area of your child’s skin becomes red, warm, and painful — with or without fever and chills. This is even more important if the area is on the hands, feet, or face, or if your child has an illness or condition that suppresses the immune system. Also, if your child gets a large cut or a deep puncture wound but most importantly if an animal bites your child, especially if the puncture wound is deep, contact your provider immediately. Cellulitis can happen quickly after an animal bite. Even human bites can cause skin infections too, so call the doctor if this happens.
To recap, cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin that often happens in areas where the skin is broken. Because of this, it’s important that your child always washes their hands before and after touching the infected area to make sure it doesn’t get any worse. With that being said, there are only so many at-home options at your disposal which is why Chai Care will always be here to offer top-notch aid!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.Jan 03, 2023
Pneumonia and Bronchitis are two illnesses that can have many harmful effects. Unfortunately, when children contract it, they experience excoriating pain and if gone untreated, there can be grave consequences. It is important to stay informed and understand the signs of these viruses and illnesses to prevent your child from having any long-term consequences.
Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when a healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.
Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Pneumonia affects children and families everywhere and even though we have amazing healthcare options in our country, our youth is still very much at risk.
The presenting features of viral and bacterial pneumonia are similar. However, the symptoms of viral pneumonia may be more numerous than the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia. In children under 5 years of age who have a cough and/or difficulty breathing, with or without fever, pneumonia is diagnosed by the presence of either fast breathing or lower chest wall indrawing where their chest moves in or retracts during inhalation (in a healthy person, the chest expands during inhalation). Wheezing is more common in viral infections.
There are several ways Pneumonia can spread. The viruses and bacteria that are commonly found in a child’s nose or throat can infect the lungs if they are inhaled. They may also spread via air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze. In addition, pneumonia may spread through blood, especially during and shortly after birth. More research needs to be done on the different pathogens causing pneumonia and the ways they are transmitted, as this is of critical importance for treatment and prevention.
While most healthy children can fight the infection with their natural defenses, children whose immune systems are compromised are at higher risk of developing pneumonia. A child’s immune system may be weakened by malnutrition or undernourishment, especially in infants who are not exclusively breastfed. Pre-existing illnesses, such as symptomatic HIV infections and measles, also increase a child’s risk of contracting pneumonia.
Pneumonia is caused by several infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The most common is streptococcus which is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children. Hemophilus influenza is the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia, followed by the respiratory syncytial virus which is the most common viral cause of pneumonia.
Preventing pneumonia in children is an essential component of a strategy to reduce child mortality. Immunization against Hib, pneumococcus, measles, and whooping cough (pertussis) is the most effective way to prevent pneumonia. Adequate nutrition is key to improving children’s natural defenses, starting with exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. In addition to being effective in preventing pneumonia, it also helps to reduce the length of the illness if a child does become ill. Addressing environmental factors such as indoor air pollution (by providing affordable clean indoor stoves, for example) and encouraging good hygiene in crowded homes also reduces the number of children who fall ill with pneumonia. In children infected with HIV, the antibiotic cotrimoxazole is given daily to decrease the risk of contracting pneumonia.
If your child’s symptoms are getting worse if he/she has a fever lasting for a few days, breathing problems, trouble drinking fluids, and new symptoms such as neck stiffness or swollen joints, it is time to call your child’s healthcare provider.
Now, it’s time to talk about Bronchitis. What is acute bronchitis in children? Bronchitis is an inflammation of the large breathing tubes in the lungs. The illness can be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). Acute bronchitis means that the symptoms often develop quickly and don’t last long. Most cases are mild.
Acute bronchitis is most often caused by a viral infection. It may also be caused by bacteria or things such as dust, allergens, strong fumes, or tobacco smoke. In children, the most common cause of acute bronchitis is a virus. The illness may develop after a cold or other viral infection in the nose, mouth, or throat (upper respiratory tract). Such illnesses can spread easily from direct contact with a person who is sick. Children that are more at risk for acute bronchitis are kids that deal with chronic sinusitis, allergies, asthma, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, and exposure to secondhand smoke.
Your child’s healthcare provider can often diagnose acute bronchitis with a health history and physical exam. In some cases, your child may need tests to rule out other health problems, such as pneumonia or asthma. These tests may include chest X-rays, pulse oximetry, or sputum and nasal discharge samples.
Treatment will vary depending on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. In nearly all cases, antibiotics should not be used to treat acute bronchitis. That’s because most infections are caused by viruses. Even children who have been coughing for longer than 8 to 10 days often don’t need antibiotics.
It is important to talk with your child’s healthcare provider before giving over-the-counter cough and cold medicine to your child. Most experts do not recommend giving medication to children younger than four years old because it may cause harmful side effects. For children between ages four and six, only use over-the-counter products when recommended by your child’s healthcare provider. It is also important to note, not to give aspirin or medicine that contains aspirin to a child younger than age nineteen unless directed by your child’s provider. Taking aspirin can put your child at risk for Reye syndrome. This is a rare but very serious disorder. It most often affects the brain and the liver.
At the end of the day, pneumonia and bronchitis are two nasty illnesses that are brutal to deal with, but very much treatable. If your child finds themselves struggling with either one, self-care is an option, but Chai Care would be your best option for treatment because our incredible staff of trained experts will supply them with quality care while offering top-notch advice on how to stay healthy!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.
Anyone unfortunate enough to have pink eye understands how painful and frustrating it is. Your eyes burn and the desire to itch the pain away becomes so unbearable that you’ll want to pluck your eyeballs right out. Worst still if the pink eye happens to your kid. This nasty infection is highly contagious and is the most common illness among children due to their lack of hygiene and not knowing who is infected. Your child will inevitably contract pink eye at some point, but there are plenty of ways to prevent and treat this obnoxious virus.
Pink eye is an infection that affects the covering of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelid. While it is usually caused by a virus, it can also be caused by bacteria. Infectious conjunctivitis — the kind that spreads from one person to another — is caused by bacteria, germs, and viruses. Often, the eye becomes infected when your child touches an infected surface and then rubs one of their eyes.
The infection causes the tiny blood vessels in the eye to dilate, resulting in the characteristic pink color. Because pink eye is so contagious, it can rapidly spread through a classroom or group of friends. Most cases of pink eye aren’t serious, but they still need to be treated by an eye doctor to help your child feel better and prevent the infection from getting worse.
Pink eye symptoms are rather easy to spot and trust me when I say, your child will be very verbal about it. The most common symptoms are having pink, red, swollen eyes, or discharge from the eyes, leaking from the eyes, crusty eyelids, lots of tears, and a scratchy, painful feeling in the eyes.
There are a few different ways your child may contract pink eye. Typically, it will be through direct contact. This is when a child with pinkeye touches the discharge from their eye and then touches another child. There is also indirect contact which is when an object that is contaminated with the virus, such as a tissue, is touched or touches another person’s eyes. Lastly, through droplets, this is caused by a common cold, droplets from a sneeze or cough can also spread it.
Most people believe that pink eye and conjunctivitis are one and the same. Yes, they are extremely similar to one another, however, conjunctivitis is slightly different.
Conjunctivitis can happen in one or both eyes. In addition to the pink appearance of your child’s eye, conjunctivitis can cause other symptoms that can help you and your eye doctor determine if conjunctivitis is the culprit. These include itching or burning, grittiness in the eye, discharge from the eye, crust along the eyelashes, and excess tearing. Even though the gritty feeling can be uncomfortable, conjunctivitis typically isn’t painful, nor does it cause blurry vision. If your child has these symptoms, they might have another eye issue, including a different type of infection.
Treatment of pink eye may involve antibiotic eye drops or ointment and will depend on the type of pinkeye. Purulent pinkeye, with a pink or red eyeball, white or yellow discharge, sticky or red eyelids, and eye discomfort, is usually caused by bacteria. It is treated with antibiotics, eye drops, or ointment, which stops the illness from spreading to others.
Non-purulent pinkeye, where the eyeball is pink or red, but the discharge is clear or watery, have range from only mild to no discomfort. It is usually caused by a virus or other irritant such as an allergy or exposure to a chemical like chlorine in a pool. An antibiotic drop will not work for this type of pinkeye.
Treatments for pink eye vary depending on the type. It could be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Pink eye can also be caused by allergies, but the allergy-related pink eye isn’t contagious. Getting a proper diagnosis will help you get the best treatment for your child, while at-home treatments can help relieve uncomfortable symptoms.
Cold compresses are among the most effective at-home treatments for pink eye symptom relief. Use a separate compress for each eye and use a clean washcloth with each application. You can also clean your child’s eyes by wiping a tissue or similar material from the inner edge of the eye to the outer edge. Use clean material for each wipe so that nothing is rubbed back into the eye. Over-the-counter pink eye medicine like eye drops can help with itchiness and pain, and some are made with antihistamines for allergy-related pink eye.
Once conjunctivitis is diagnosed, treatment depends on what’s causing the infection. Applying warm or cool compresses to your child’s eyes can help relieve some of the itching or burning sensations. You can also help by gently cleaning the rims of your child’s eyelids, especially if your child has discharge from the eye. Lubricating eye drops may also be helpful.
Most cases clear up within a week. During that time, be sure your child washes their hands frequently with soap and warm water and remind them not to touch or rub their eyes. If your child wears contact lenses, have them wear glasses during the infection, and get rid of the lenses they were wearing when the infection began.
Fortunately, there are many ways your child can prevent themselves from contracting pink eye. To list a couple, wipe tears or discharge from your child’s eye from the inside out and in one direction only. Use a clean part of the cloth each time. Make sure they wash their hands and don’t share towels or washcloths because they could spread the illness. Lastly, if your child has viral pinkeye, they can return to childcare once they have seen a doctor. If your child has bacterial pinkeye and is taking antibiotics, they should stay home from childcare or school until they’ve had the antibiotics for 24 hours.
There is no need to panic at the sight of pink eye. However, if your baby has purulent eye discharge and is less than 3 months old, your child seems unwell and has a fever, rash, or eye pain, or if the pinkeye seems to keep coming back, then it is time to see your healthcare provider.
Although pink eye is incredibly painful, fortunately, it goes away quickly compared to other illnesses and rarely leads to something more serious. There are plenty of self-care options, but your best bet would be to take your child to Chai Care so one of our skilled experts can make a proper examination that will be quick and painless!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.