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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.Dec 27, 2022
We can all recall a time when we as children had awful stomach pain or aches. Chances are you were hunched over, gripping your stomach in agony, claiming someone was stabbing your intestines with a knife. Dramatic and exaggerated, but when you’re a kid, everything is theatrical. Some of those incidents were no big deal. Just a minor cramp or nausea from eating too much candy before bed, but other times it may have been serious, so much so that medical attention was needed due to a parasite or appendicitis. Abdominal pain in children can vary from minor to major in the blink of an eye, which is why it is so important to be vigilant of the signs and symptoms.
If your child is experiencing stomach pain, it is most likely due to indigestion, constipation, stress, irritable bowel syndrome, appendicitis, or a stomach bug. These are the most common complaints that a child will have regarding stomach issues and fortunately, over counter drugs or a quick visit to your healthcare provider will help. However, stomach pain is more complicated than you might think. Depending on where the child is feeling the pain, this can change the diagnosis and the severity of the injury.
Stomach pain around the belly button is the most common complaint among children and in most cases, the least significant. The culprit of this discomfort is typically attributed to stress or eating something unagreeable. The best action to take for your child who is struggling with this would be to encourage them to rest, check to see if they need to poop, suggest drinking a glass of water, or offer a distraction of sorts. Reading a soothing story or playing a light-hearted game can take their mind off the pain and before they know it, they’ll forget all about it!
Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen can be much more serious, potentially hinting that your child may have appendicitis. Appendicitis is a serious medical emergency that can cause sudden, severe pain in the lower right part of your child’s stomach. If your child complains of stomach pain that moves to the lower right side of the belly, watch for other symptoms including fever, nausea, vomiting, difficulty passing gas, loss of appetite, constipation, and diarrhea. If you suspect that your child has appendicitis, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Early diagnosis decreases the risk of a ruptured appendix or serious complications.
If your child is complaining about pain on the left side of their stomach, it could be caused by constipation or a more severe condition like pancreatitis. Most of the time, stomach pain on the left side is due to something mild, like constipation. Rarely, it can be a sign of something more serious. Your child’s healthcare provider can work with you to better understand the pain and symptoms your child experiences to ensure they receive an accurate diagnosis.
If your child is complaining about pain in their upper abdomen, they may be experiencing indigestion. Telltale signs of indigestion include pain in the upper belly, nausea, bloating, burping, and heartburn. It is also worth mentioning that if your child has pain in the upper right side of their abdomen, this could also be a sign of gallstones. Gallstones are more common in adults than in children, but some children may be more at risk for developing gallstones, including children with obesity, children with certain health conditions including sickle cell disease, and children with a family history of gallstone disease.
This is a general term that describes discomfort in children’s upper abdomen. Common symptoms include pain or burning in the area between the breastbone and navel or bloating in the upper abdomen. Most of the time, indigestion will go away on its own and is not considered serious. Prepare smaller meals and try a bland diet. Talk with their healthcare provider if the discomfort persists.
This is an infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, pain, and nausea or vomiting. Seek medical attention if your child has a fever of 100.4 F or higher, bloody diarrhea, or significant pain or discomfort. The most important thing to do is to stay well-hydrated.
Constipated children have infrequent bowel movements or hard, dry stools. They may frequently complain of a stomachache, bloating, or discomfort. Talk with their primary care provider if they don’t want to eat, are losing weight, have bloody stools, or are having repeated episodes of constipation.
When children are stressed or anxious, their bodies release the hormone cortisol into the blood. This can trigger abdominal cramps and discomfort.
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. It causes sudden pain that begins around the navel and then moves to the lower right abdomen. The pain worsens if children cough, walk or make other jarring movements. Appendicitis pain typically increases and eventually becomes severe. Appendicitis is a medical emergency, and these children should receive immediate medical attention.
Appendicitis is one of the more common reasons your child may need surgery. The appendix is a small, dead-end tube leading from a part of the bowel. If this tube gets blocked, it can cause an infection. Appendicitis can happen at any age but is rare in young children.
The pain often starts in the middle of the tummy and moves down low on the right side. The stomach becomes sore to the touch. This is often worse with coughing and walking around. A child with appendicitis often shows signs of being unwell such as fever, refusing food, vomiting, or diarrhea.
If you are concerned your child may be developing appendicitis, visit your healthcare provider. An operation is often needed to remove the appendix, although in some cases the problem will settle without surgery.
Intestinal obstruction is a blockage that prevents food or liquid from passing through children’s small intestines or colon. It could be caused by scar tissue, a twisting or narrowing of the intestine, or if they swallow an object. Common symptoms include abdominal pain that comes and goes and is located around or below the navel, constipation, inability to pass gas, swelling of the abdomen, or vomiting. Seek immediate medical attention if children are suspected to have an intestinal obstruction.
Typically, when the problem is obvious there are no tests needed. However, if tests are needed, they may include blood or urine tests, stool samples, or other special tests for further examination. If your child does undergo tests, the healthcare provider should explain the results to you. Some results may take several days to come back, and these results will be sent to your primary care physician.
Stomach pain in children is usually nothing to worry about. But, if your child experiences any of the following symptoms, take your little one to their healthcare provider: diarrhea, pain when urinating, unexplained weight loss, jaundice, blood in stool, and recurrent stomach pain with no clear cause. From there, a medical professional can help you determine how severe the illness is.
Your child’s treatment will depend on what your healthcare provider determines is causing their pain. Treatment may be as simple as sending your child home with advice to rest, take fluids and eat a bland diet. Other treatment options include hospital admission and surgery. A few general suggestions would be to make sure your child gets plenty of rest and have them drink plenty of clear fluids such as cooled boiled water or juice. Do not push your child to eat if they feel unwell. If they are hungry, have them eat bland food like crackers or bananas and place a hot water bag on their stomach.
If your child doesn’t seem to be getting any better and their symptoms have manifested into more severe signs such as vomiting, blood in urine or stool, painful skin rash, fever, or chills, then you should take your child to Chai Care to have them checked out by our skilled medical professionals.
* 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 may have.Dec 12, 2022
Here’s a little bit of trivia for you:
You can exercise daily, check up on your mental health regularly and count your carbs, fats, and proteins down to the exact milligram – and still become sick with a minor or even life-threatening illness, when you least expect it. Our unforgiving world gives every creature about an equal chance for survival, and this includes the kinds of creatures that we wish would never exist.
Fortunately, human beings, the single most dominant species on our planet, have evolved to develop rational thinking, so we’re slightly better prepared to handle these unexpected problems, by absorbing as much information as possible and by applying our knowledge into practice.
So, hopefully, after reading this, you will know everything you need to know about one very important and very unpleasant parasite:
Don’t know what pinworms are? Don’t sweat it. Many people don’t and those that claim to know have a rudimentary understanding of the parasitic worm. Even with all our scientific advances, cures, and medications, these creepy crawlers are extremely common. They have been running amok for as long as humans have been around. Fortunately, they are treatable, so don’t fret!
Glad you asked! Without further ado, here is everything you need to know about pinworms.
Simply put, pinworms are white parasitic worms that live in the large intestine of human beings. They are about one-half inch to a full inch in size and while the infected person sleeps, female pinworms leave the intestinal tract and lay their eggs on the skin around the anus. The eggs are laid in a sticky, jelly-like substance that, along with the wriggling of the female pinworm, causes severe itching.
Super-gross and maybe even too much information, but it’s important to know because this is the most common worm infection in the United States. Young children have the highest infection rate due to below-average sanitary conditions in schools, daycare centers, and recreational facilities. Even though these grimy facilities play a major factor, let’s face it, children tend to care less about cleanliness than adults. Kids like to play first and think later, paying no attention to such things as pinworms which is why we must protect them.
The easiest way for your child to spread pinworms is if they have scratched his or her bare anal area and the eggs get under his or her fingernails without proper hand washing. They can also be transferred from the fingers to clothing or bedding, and then spread around the home, and believe it or not, the eggs may be inhaled from the air or deposited onto food and swallowed. It’s important to note that even if your child may have seemingly healed, pinworms can survive up to two weeks on clothing, bedding, or other objects if kept at room temperature. So even though your child may be in the clear, make sure to do a deep clean of your home to ensure that you have completely eradicated the parasite.
The most common symptoms of pinworms are extreme itching in the anal/vaginal area, difficulty sleeping, and irritability but other symptoms that are important to be aware of are nervousness, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, poor concentration, weight loss, sweet cravings, teeth grinding, mood swings, bed wetting, and fatigue. These additional symptoms may be due to other illnesses – so the next step to take is searching for the female worm or egg which will confirm if your child has pinworms or not.
Pinworms can be sneaky and usually only reveal themselves in the evening. The adult worms can sometimes be seen directly around the anal area or in pajamas. If the worms are not visible, you may try conducting something known as a “tape test” in the morning. You do this by applying a piece of transparent tape against the folds of skin around the anus to pick up any eggs or worms and then seal it in a plastic bag. After this, take the tape to a medical professional, where the eggs can be identified under a microscope, for an official diagnosis. We may be biased, but we strongly believe that Chai Care is one of the best places to visit for expert medical help. Please consider visiting one of our urgent care centers if your child experiences the symptoms of pinworm infection!
Let’s paint a picture. Your child hasn’t been acting like themselves lately. They are restless, losing weight, have severe mood swings, and have been complaining about a never-ending itch located in their anus. You take a look and notice a half-inch-long white worm. Now what?
There are both over-the-counter and prescription drugs one can take but consult with a healthcare provider before doing so. Once you received a legitimate diagnosis, next comes treating the infected.
The infected person should take the prescribed medicine orally. The medicine is given in two doses. The second dose should be given two weeks after the first. It’s crucial for the person to bathe first thing in the morning to reduce egg contamination and prevent it from spreading. Essentially, it’s best to be as clean as possible. Make sure your child washes their hands and under the fingernails thoroughly. Whether this is after using the bathroom, before eating, or after any activity, it’s paramount that they scrub their hands with warm water and soap. During this time, avoid nail biting and scratching bare anal areas to avoid re-infection. Most people don’t know this, but parasites live off bacteria/sugar. So, during this time, it is best to cut down on your child’s sugar intake. Lastly, it is important to know that when one person in a household contracts pinworms, usually another family member does too so make sure to treat all infected family members at the same time.
Now that your child is treated, it’s time to treat your home. Make sure to change all the sheets, pillowcases, and bedspreads, and thoroughly wash them with hot water along with all the underwear, pants, shorts, and clothing to ensure maximum cleanliness. During the daytime keep all blinds open because the eggs are ultra-sensitive to sunlight. Pinworm eggs are light and scatter easily so dust should be removed carefully from all surfaces in the home. Be extra careful when vacuuming or use an oiled cloth (which may be boiled or destroyed later) to help prevent the eggs from scattering.
You did it! Now that your child is finally pinworm-free, how do you prevent this from ever happening again?
It’s simple. Make sure they wash their hands and underneath the fingernails frequently, bathe daily, encourage them to avoid scratching their bare anal areas, and change and wash clothing and bedding frequently. It’s important to note that pinworm eggs continue to be present (excreted) in the feces of an infected person for up to a week after the treatment, so precautions should be taken to prevent reinfection by washing hands thoroughly, especially under the nails.
If your child follows these simple steps, they will be in the clear, but kids sometimes have a difficult time following the rules. If your child winds up contracting the infection again, consult your healthcare provider and follow the same steps. In some cases, it may be necessary to treat the patient and close family contacts more than once for extra protection.
If your little one gets infected with pinworms, there’s no sugarcoating this: The experience will not be pleasant for them or for you as a parent. Fortunately, there are diagnostic tools and great medications readily available, and thankfully there are urgent care facilities that can offer them exceptional treatment and make sure they are as good as new in no time. If you feel that your child may have contracted pinworms, bring them down to Chai Care and we will get them treated and healthy 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.