The team of providers at Laurel Pediatric & Teen Medical Center wants to help parents in Bel Air, Maryland, understand how to handle the most common playground injuries. Keep reading to learn how to care for these accidents and when to seek medical attention.
First, try tweezers, a sterilized needle, or packing tape to remove the splinter. You can soak the affected area in warm water for a few minutes to make the skin more pliable. Once the splinter is out, clean the area well with warm, soapy water.
Call our office to schedule an appointment if:
- You can’t remove the splinter after trying for 10-15 minutes
- The splinter breaks off when you try to remove it
- The splinter is deep or entered your child’s skin vertically
- Your child has a splinter under their fingernail or near their eye
You should also call our office if your child develops any signs of infection, like yellow or white discharge or red skin.
Caution your child not to pop or break open any blisters they get on the playground as it increases the risk of infection.
Instead, treat blisters by washing them in warm, soapy water and patting dry. Cover the clean blister in an antibacterial ointment and keep covered with a band-aid or gauze to protect your child’s skin, keep them comfortable, and stop infection from starting.
3. Black eyes
Apply a cold pack as soon as possible around the affected eye, and repeat the cold therapy 2-4 times a day for 1-2 days. Contact our office if the black eye is accompanied by these symptoms:
- Bleeding in the white or iris of the eye
- Your child complains of double or blurred vision
- The bruising surrounds both eyes
You should also schedule an appointment if your child is experiencing severe pain.
4. Bloody noses
If your child develops a bloody nose, don’t tip their head back. Instead, have them sit down and lean their head and body forward slightly to make sure the blood doesn’t run down their throat.
Gently pinch the soft part of your child’s nose against the bony ridge of the bridge of the nose. Apply pressure for up to 20 minutes. Call for medical help if:
- The bleeding doesn’t stop after 20 minutes
- Your child loses more than a cup of blood
- Your child has difficulty breathing
- The nosebleed occurs because of a head injury
You should also call our office if your child begins vomiting after swallowing large amounts of blood.
5. Knocked-out teeth
If your child gets an adult tooth knocked out, save the tooth. Call your dentist immediately, then try placing the tooth back in the socket. If you can’t put it back in, place the tooth in a small container of milk (not water!) to keep the root moist while traveling to the dentist’s office.
6. Sprained ankles
For sprains, have your child get off their feet right away and apply the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If your child is unable to bear weight or if the sprain isn’t better after a few weeks, schedule an appointment.
7. Bumped heads
Most of the time, playground head injuries are minor. However, if you notice any signs of concussion, like headache, impaired vision or speech, sensitivity to light and sound, balance troubles, or unequal pupils, or if your child lost consciousness, contact our office immediately.
8. Turf burns
Turf burns, rug burns, and friction burns don’t typically require much intervention. If the skin is abraded, clean with soap and water, apply an antiseptic, and cover with a gauze pad. If you notice any swelling or pus, call our office.
9. Cuts and scrapes
Clean minor cuts and scrapes with water. If dirt or debris enters the abrasion, use mild, soapy water and rinse for several minutes.
Apply pressure to bleeding wounds for about five minutes and elevate if possible. Once the bleeding stops, cover with antibacterial ointment or Aquaphor® and a band-aid or gauze.
10. Split lips
Apply pressure to split lips with a clean cloth for at least 10 minutes. When the bleeding stops, clean the area with warm, soapy water to remove dirt and debris. Call our office if the bleeding doesn’t stop or:
- The cut is deep and might need stitches
- You can’t clear the wound of debris
- You don’t know if your child’s tetanus shot is current
Need extra help dealing with common playground injuries? Call the experts at Laurel Pediatric & Teen Medical Center to schedule an appointment or request one online now.