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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.Feb 13, 2023
Sometimes your child will be sneezing or wheezing, and you might shrug it off, believing it to be nothing more than a simple allergy. However, there is the possibility that your son or daughter may have a health issue – asthma. This can cause bothersome daily symptoms that interfere with play, sports, school, and sleep, making unmanaged asthma dangerous. Unfortunately, childhood asthma can’t be cured, and symptoms can continue into adulthood, but with the right treatment and by staying informed, your child can keep their symptoms under control and prevent damage to growing lungs.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease. It affects your airways and the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. When you have asthma, your airways can become inflamed and narrowed. This can cause wheezing, coughing, and tightness in your chest. When these symptoms get worse than usual, it is called an asthma attack or flare-up.
Typically, asthma starts during childhood, usually before the age of 5. Asthma is something many children suffer from and is actually the most common chronic disease in childhood. Depending on the severity of their asthma, it can cause children to miss school and even end up in the hospital.
Even though there are many different variables that may cause a child to suffer from asthma, a few of the most popular reasons would be being exposed to secondhand smoke when their mother is pregnant with them, genetics, and family history. Children are more likely to have asthma if one of their parents has it, especially if it’s the mother, or having other diseases or conditions such as obesity and allergies.
The most common symptoms of asthma are frequent coughing that worsens when your child has a viral infection, occurs while your child is asleep, or is triggered by exercise or cold air, a whistling or wheezing sound when breathing out, shortness of breath, chest congestion or tightness, and rapid breathing. It’s important to mention that your child may experience other symptoms that are disguised as something different and if these issues don’t seem to be going away, contact their healthcare provider.
It can be tricky to diagnose asthma in children, especially if they are toddlers. Asthma has similar symptoms as other childhood conditions and some children may not demonstrate symptoms very often, so it may seem like they are having respiratory infections instead. However, if your healthcare provider were to test your child for asthma they would do a physical exam, check your child’s medical history, take a chest X-ray, and do lung function tests. If you have a young child who cannot do lung function tests, their healthcare provider may suggest doing a trial of asthma medicines. This involves giving your child the recommended medicines for several weeks to see whether the symptoms get better.
Depending on the severity of your child’s asthma their treatment will vary. There is also a chance their allergist may prescribe them two different medications. The first is quick relief. All children with asthma need quick-relief medicine to treat coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or an asthma attack. Your child should always have this medicine with them (typically an inhaler) and use it at the first sign of symptoms. The second is preventative controllers. Many children with asthma also need to take a controller daily to prevent asthma symptoms and attacks. Your child may need a controller if they are using quick-relief medication too often or frequently need oral corticosteroids such as prednisone for asthma attacks.
It’s best to take your child to their healthcare provider if you see any signs of asthma because early treatment will help control their symptoms and possibly prevent asthma attacks. If you notice coughing that is constant, intermittent, or seems linked to physical activity, wheezing or whistling sounds when your child breathes out, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, complaints of chest tightness, and repeated episodes of suspected bronchitis or pneumonia take your son or daughter to their provider for proper testing. If your child is diagnosed with asthma, creating an asthma plan can help you, family and friends monitor their symptoms and know what to do if an asthma attack occurs.
In severe cases, you might see your child’s chest and sides pulling inward as he or she tries to breathe. They might also have an increased heartbeat, sweating, and chest pain. Seek emergency care if your child must stop in midsentence to catch his or her breath, is using abdominal muscles to breathe, or has widened nostrils when breathing in. Even if your son or daughter hasn’t been diagnosed with asthma, seek medical attention if he or she has trouble breathing. Although episodes of asthma vary in seriousness, asthma attacks can start with coughing, which progresses to wheezing and labored breathing.
The best way to prevent an asthma attack is with careful planning and avoiding asthma triggers such as allergens and irritants that trigger asthma symptoms. Exposure to tobacco smoke during infancy is a strong risk factor for childhood asthma, as well as a common trigger of asthma attacks. It is also important to encourage your child to be active. If their asthma is well-controlled, regular physical activity can help the lungs to work more efficiently. Lastly, urge a proactive lifestyle. Being overweight can worsen asthma symptoms, and it puts your child at risk of other health problems.
Asthma is a tricky illness because, for some, it’s more serious than it is for others, and if your son or daughter is one of the lucky ones who only have minor issues, they can potentially evolve into more serious problems later in life. It is your duty as a parent to stay on top of it so your child can learn and adapt to any potential new symptoms, but not to worry, the staff at Chai Care will always be here to help your child with any everyday health issue that they find themselves facing!
* 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 10, 2023
If you play with fire you are going to get burned. As adults, we know this already, most likely from a bad experience, but children have yet to figure this out. Burns are nothing to trifle with and can cause serious damage, which is why it is paramount to stay informed and to teach our youth the danger of playing with fire and the consequences that may ensue.
As you already know, burns are a type of injury caused by heat. Heat can be thermal, electrical, chemical, or electromagnetic energy. Most burn accidents occur at home. Interestingly enough, about 75% of all burn injuries in children are preventable. Scalding is the leading cause of burn injury for children, while smoking and open flames are the leading causes of burn injury for older adults.
We all know what a burn is, but many people don’t know what the most common burns are. First off, there are thermal burns. These burns raise the temperature of the skin and tissue underneath. Thermal burns happen from steam, hot bath water, tipped-over coffee cups, hot foods, cooking fluids, etc. Next, there are radiation burns which happen from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (a sunburn because the skin isn’t well-protected in the sun) or from radiation such as during an X-ray. Then, there are chemical burns that happen from strong acids (like drain cleaner or button batteries) or spilling chemicals (like bleach) onto the skin or eyes. Lastly, electrical burns. These are from contact with electrical current and can happen from things like biting on electrical cords or sticking fingers or objects in electrical outlets, etc. Knowing the type of burn a child has can help with first-aid measures. All burns should be treated quickly to lower the temperature of the burned area and reduce damage to the skin and tissue underneath.
Simply put, there are first, second, and third-degree burns—1st being the least significant and 3rd being the most serious.
…Also known as superficial burns, burns are the mildest type of burns. They’re limited to the top layer of skin. Signs and symptoms to look out for would be redness, pain, and minor swelling. The skin is dry without blisters. Healing time is about 3–6 days; the superficial skin layer over the burn may peel off in 1 or 2 days.
…Which are a bit more serious. These burns are more serious and involve the top layer of skin and part of the layer below it. The burned area is red and blistered and can swell and be painful. The blisters sometimes break open and the area is wet looking with a bright pink to cherry red color. Healing time varies depending on the severity of the burn. It can take up to 3 weeks or longer.
…Are the most serious type of burn. They involve all layers of the skin and the nerve endings there and may go into underlying tissue. The surface appears dry and can look waxy white, leathery, brown, or charred. There may be little or no pain or the area may feel numb at first because of nerve damage. Healing time depends on the severity of the burn. Most need to be treated with skin grafts, in which healthy skin is taken from another part of the body and surgically placed over the burn wound to help the area heal.
Most small, blistering burns can be treated and cared for at home, however taking your little one to your healthcare provider will always be your best bet. If you have any questions about whether a burn can, be taken care of at home, discuss it with your physician. If you do choose to take the home-care route, make sure to cool the burn by running cool running water over the burn for about five minutes. This helps stop the burning process and decreases pain and swelling. Do not put ice on a burn and don’t rub the burn, because this can worsen the injury. Do not break blisters as this can increase the risk of infection at the burn site. Make sure to cover the burned area with a clean bandage that will not stick to the burned site. This helps decrease the risk of infection and decreases pain. Lastly, protect the burn. It’s crucial to keep the burn site clean with gentle washing with soap and water. Do not apply any ointments to the burn site unless instructed by your pediatrician. Never apply butter, greases, or other home remedies to a burn before discussing it with your healthcare provider, as these can increase the risk of infection as well.
If you believe that your child is suffering from a third-degree burn and has blisters larger than 2 inches or full-thickness burns with white or charred skin, go to an emergency department. It is important that before coming in you should cover the burn with a sterile dressing or clean washcloth or towel.
Superficial or mild partial thickness burns hurt for about two days and peel like a sunburn in about a week. These burns shouldn’t leave a scar if managed correctly. If the burn is open, your child will need a tetanus booster if it has been more than five years since his/her last tetanus shot, your child has had less than three tetanus shots in his/her lifetime, or if you’re not sure when your child had a tetanus shot last. Your child should get this shot from your pediatrician within three days of the burn. Call your healthcare provider immediately if your child’s burn looks infected. Symptoms include a large red area or streak larger than 2 inches around the burn. A fever may or may not be present. If there is increased redness or notice any signs of infection, bring your child to Chai Care and our top-notch staff will gladly take care of your little one!
* 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 15, 2022
“History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.” – Nelson Mandela.
Our obligation as adults is to protect our youth by any means necessary. The best way to do that is by staying informed about new scientific studies and taking advice from medical professionals on how to best help and nurture the children of the world. Because of their lack of knowledge and experience, toddlers depend on us to guide them through all the dangers and illnesses that may come their way. Even the safest and most responsible adults make mistakes now and again, which is why we are going to dive into everything you need to know about—”nursemaid’s elbow”.
When most people hear the words “nursemaid’s elbow” they are surprised to learn that it has anything to do with young children due to its strange name. In simple terms, nursemaid’s elbow occurs when the radius (one of the bones in the forearm) slides out of place from where it is normally attached to the elbow joint. It is a common condition in children younger than four years of age. Other names include pulled elbow, slipped elbow, or toddler’s elbow. The medical term for Nursemaid’s Elbow is “radial head subluxation”.
Let’s say you are out on the town, taking a leisurely stroll with your toddler. The youngster notices something that catches their eye, and they begin to run towards the excitement, when the parent grabs their arm to stop them, pulls too hard, and suddenly contracts the hand or forearm. This causes the radius to slip out of the ligament holding it into the elbow. It can also occur when an infant rolls himself or herself over, from a fall, or from pulling or swinging a young child by the hand. We all love picking up a baby and playing with them, but it’s important not to be too overzealous because the child is not fully developed to withstand such quick movements.
Nursemaid’s elbow is a tricky injury because it usually occurs to toddlers and young children who may not be able to articulate what exactly the problem is, leaving it up to the parent or guardian to figure it out. At first glance, nursemaid’s elbow may not be obvious and can easily go unnoticed, but the child will usually cry from the discomfort. Other important signs to look for would be: if the child avoids moving their arm below the shoulder, supports one arm with the other hand, holds their arm straight or slightly bent and close to the body, or if they refuse to rotate their palm.
In other words: if the child lacks mobility and demonstrates discomfort and flexibility in the arm, there is a good chance they are experiencing nursemaid’s elbow.
Now that you know the symptoms, the next question is:
The simple answer is: Yes.
Normal use of the arm will be painful and inhibited until the injury is corrected, which is why it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. There are certain cases where nursemaid’s elbow has corrected itself, but there is no reason to take that gamble, especially when dealing with children. Let your healthcare provider be the one to examine your child to make sure there are no fractures or breaks and once the examiner does that, they can begin the process of correcting the injury.
After your child has been officially diagnosed by your healthcare provider, they will perform a physical exam and ask a series of questions about what happened at the time of the injury. This physical exam will test your child’s range of motion and see if there is any tenderness at the elbow. The treatment is a simple, but effective physical maneuver called “nursemaid elbow reduction”. Lasting only a few seconds, the healthcare provider will perform the reduction by gently flexing and rotating the arm. If you hear a “pop” sound, don’t be alarmed! This is simply the joint moving back into place. As far as imaging tests are concerned, they often won’t show evidence of nursemaid’s elbow, however, an X-ray can be used to rule out a fracture or break.
Even though you should seek medical attention to have the joint corrected by a professional, there are forms of treatment you can do on your own. There are plenty of over-the-counter drugs to help your child manage the pain and applying ice to the injured area will also help. There are some adults out there who have attempted the correction maneuver themselves, this is not well advised.
Recovery begins immediately after your child’s elbow has been reduced. The best part is your child will only feel pain for a few seconds, but soon after will feel as good as new!
Now that you know what nursemaid’s elbow is and what signs to look for, let’s discuss a few simple ways to prevent this from happening. The best thing to do is avoid pulling or jerking your child by the arm or hand. This may sound simple, but when a child attempts to cross a street before looking both ways or their curiosity gravitates them to something that can harm them, your parental instincts kick in, telling you to pull them out of the way. Even though you are trying to protect them, you may actually hurt them in the process. Another method would be to use verbal cues instead of physical ones to get their attention and lastly, try not to swing your child around by the hands or arms for fun. Many parents do this because it’s entertaining and puts a smile on their child’s face, but this is probably the most common way children suffer from nursemaid’s elbow.
If the healthcare provider has successfully corrected the joint, nursemaid’s elbow should not come back but it is worth noting that a child who has had this injury is more likely to have it again, than someone who hasn’t. This is because the injury stretches the ligaments, making it harder to hold the bone in place. A child who has experienced Nursemaid’s Elbow may have looser ligaments in general too. Fortunately, as children grow, their bones and ligaments will become stronger, making nursemaid’s elbow highly unlikely after a child turns five years old.
We are privileged to live in a country where we have countless urgent care facilities that are staffed with exceptional medical professionals who can easily help if your child experiences nursemaid’s elbow. This is an injury that should not go un-diagnosed and luckily for you, Chai Care will always be here to supply you with the top-notch service and sensitive care that your child deserves!
Do you suffer from an odd ache here and there in your body?
You’re not alone. We plant the seeds of our future small, annoying afflictions when we’re kids, and those nasty seeds grow into full-blown weeds that can smother our blooming health right on the root.
Perhaps I’m being too poetic here, in a blog article intended to promote our everyday and urgent care services, but this is relevant. What we’re talking here is healthcare for kids and youth:
But that stretches further into life. The habits we establish as kids go far into adulthood, and one of those habits is lack of respect and appreciation of our own body: Of how fragile it is, and how much the damage we do to it will stay with it. As you want your kids to be careful around expensive furniture, or driving your expensive car on a weekend, so you want to make them appreciate that they only have one body and that body must be treated with proper care.
Childhood traumas – of mental and physical kind – should not be underestimated; they may affect the rest of our lives!
Here’s a story from my own life, I hope it resonates with you. Trust me, you don’t want this to happen to your kid.
It’s a commonly known fact that death comes after life. Sadly, this doesn’t happen to be true for most people – who don’t take the trouble to enjoy life to the fullest, and so, the live as though they’re already dead.
(That’s pretty much what I told myself back when I was a little younger.)
Back then, I was reckless, impulsive, and out of control. I embraced every moment as if it were my last because I was fortunate enough to have the foresight that life is short and should be lived to its fullest.
The decisions I was making and the circumstances that I was allowing myself to fall into were significantly more harmful than rewarding.
In my youth, I didn’t think of my future. Honestly, life seemed like it would always be the same and I was the only person to ever live that Father Time wouldn’t harm. Yes, I was delusional and, in many ways, naïve and arrogant but it molded a very important journey that led me down a destructive road that would eventually transform into a more purposeful life. But I had to fall many times before getting there.
For some reason when you’re young, seeking advice, medical assistance, or simply asking for help can be difficult. You think you know everything there is to know and it’s nearly impossible to believe that someone else may be smarter than you. I have lost track of the number of times when my impulses got the best of me, but one memory comes to mind.
Growing up, there wasn’t much to do in my rural Pennsylvania town. My friends and I loved watching action movies and would always reenact intense and dangerous scenes from them, wanting to be as bold as the stars in the films. But then things escalated into full-blown stunts. No harnesses, green screens, or stunt doubles to protect us. All of us were constantly banged up, scratched, and bruised but none of us wanted to look soft, and as silly as it’ll sound, we thought that made us cool.
Our most dangerous and idiotic exploits took place on the local train tracks. Every Friday at 5 PM a massive freight train would speed by transporting who-knows-what. Normally we would play a game of chicken with the steel tube but would make sure to give ourselves plenty of time to hop out of the way before impact. But that got old quickly. The daredevil in me took over and I came up with the bright idea to dangle myself from the bridge above the tracks as the train whizzed by. Even my adventurous pals knew better and warned me not to try it. That only excited me more. I patiently waited for the train to come my way and when I saw the smoke in the distance, I prepared myself. When it was about fifty yards away, I lowered myself, realizing I was not dangling above the train but hanging directly in front of it. I was soon to be a splattered fly on the windshield. My hands were sweaty, and I overestimated my strength. Pulling myself back up to safety was impossible. In a split-second decision, I let go and dropped. One of my friends was brave enough to help me hobble off the tracks just in time before getting crushed, just like our favorite action heroes.
The pain in both my knees, ankles, and back was unlike anything I have ever experienced yet when my buddies tried to call an ambulance for me, I wouldn’t let them. I tried to laugh it off even though my bloodshot eyes said otherwise. After a few more attempts to call for medical attention, they stopped trying and assumed I was OK. Deep down, I wished more than anything that someone would come to my rescue.
Still to this day I have back issues, weak knees, and ligament damage in both ankles all because I was too stubborn and proud to see a medical professional. It’s hard for me to stay seated for long amounts of time and jogging is completely out of the question because my body hasn’t healed in the ways that it needed to.
If only technology was quicker then I would go back in time and grab that kid by his filthy shirt collar and tell him to stop being so foolish. There was no point to it all, no one was impressed and all it left me was a life of pain. Sure, we were bold and maybe brave at times but in the long run, none of those stunts were worth it.
We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we have access to essentially unlimited amounts of medicine, hospitals, urgent care facilities, and clinics that will help us heal our bodies when needed but also supply us with proper information on how to live proactively.
Pediatric traumas of today do not need to remain untreated, and I implore you, the reader of this article: If you know a kid who needs proper care after playing or doing sports maybe a little too recklessly and having been banged up in the process – please, send them to get checked out. You’ll be surprised how much a basic urgent care visit can do for preventing the kind of recurrent pains in the joints or ligaments that too many people suffer absolutely unnecessarily!
But back to my story – unfortunately, I wasn’t as wise in my past as I am now, and the experience I described to you wasn’t enough for me to learn. That wouldn’t come for some time…