Germs live on things we touch every day. Luckily one of the easiest and most effective ways to kill germs and prevent infection is for both you and your children to frequently wash your hands. Teach your children to wash their hands - before eating, after using the bathroom, when they come home from school, and before they go to bed. And remember to always wash your hands properly before and after treating wounds or cuts.
To Properly Wash Your Hands, Follow These Simple Steps:
- Use soap and running water.
- Rub your hands vigorously as you wash them.
- Wash all surfaces, including backs of hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails for 15 seconds.
Minor Cuts, Scrapes and Wounds
Minor wounds are a simple fact of life. Fortunately, caring for most minor wounds is simple!
To Care for Minor Cuts, Scrapes, and Wounds
- Minor wounds usually stop bleeding on their own. If they don't, apply direct pressure to the wound with a non-stick pad or gauze pad until it stops.
- Gently clean the wound with mild soap and warm water.
- Allow the wound area to dry thoroughly.
Cover with an appropriately sized Curad® adhesive bandage, non-stick pad with adhesive tabs, or hydrocolloid bandage, such as CURAD Hydro Heal®.
Puncture wounds are frequently caused by stepping on a nail or other sharp object and do not usually result in excessive bleeding. However, the nail (or other object) may carry dangerous bacteria, and if left untreated, may cause a serious infection. Infection can also occur if a small portion of the object breaks off in the wound or when microscopic fragments of shoes or socks are pushed into the wound as the object passes through them. Puncture wounds resulting from human or animal bites are especially prone to infection. For these reasons, it is always a very good idea to seek medical attention for deep puncture wounds.
To Care for a Puncture Wound
The area around the wound should be cleaned with an antibacterial wipe, allowed to dry thoroughly, and then covered with an appropriately sized Curad® adhesive bandage before being seen by a doctor. These actions will help reduce the potential for further contamination.
Insect Bites & Stings
Bees, Wasps, Hornets
Bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants are typically the most troublesome insects. Most reactions are mild and may include stinging, itching, and mild swelling that disappears within a day or so. Only a small percentage of people develop severe reactions to insect venom. However, severe reactions can progress rapidly and become a life-threatening medical emergency. Call 911 immediately if the person has trouble breathing, swelling of the lips or throat, has an altered level of responsiveness or loses consciousness.
For Minor Bites and Stings:
- If the stinger is present, do not use tweezers or pinch it with your fingers since this may cause more venom to be injected. Try to remove the stinger by scraping or brushing it off with a firm edge, such as a credit card.
- Remove rings and other constricting items, since the affected area may swell.
- Clean the wound following the basic principles for Minor Cuts, Scrapes and Wounds.
- To reduce pain and swelling, apply ice or a cold pack and elevate if possible.
- You may also apply 0.5 percent or 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, or calamine lotion, to the bite or sting several times a day until symptoms subside.
- Monitor the bite for signs of infection: increased pain, redness, swelling, or a yellow discharge from the wound.
Minor Burns and Scalds
Burns are caused by contact with flame, hot liquids and objects, chemicals, electricity, radiated heat, frozen surfaces, or friction. Scalds are burns caused by contact with boiling fluids or steam. Serious burns often result in severe pain, disfigurement, and scarring.
Burns are classified in three categories:
- Superficial: Affects outer layer of skin only, also called First Degree Signs/Symptoms: Intense pain and reddening Common Cause: Sunburn
- Partial Thickness: Damage to deeper layers of skin, also called Second Degree. Signs/Symptoms: Excruciating pain and reddening with addition of blisters Common Cause: Spilled or splattered hot water and grease
- Full Thickness: Damage to all layers of skin, plus underlying structures and tissues, also called Third Degree. Signs/Symptoms: Whitish or blackened areas of skin. Often there is no initial pain. Common Cause: Contact with high-voltage electrical current or fire
NOTE: Call 911 or seek immediate medical attention for all partial and full thickness burns.
To treat a minor burn or scald
- Use a cool compress as often as needed to relieve pain. This is the most effective and comforting treatment.
- When the pain has subsided, gently clean the burn with cool running water.
- Allow the area to dry and apply a hydrocolloid bandage to help the wound heal naturally.
- Be sure to cleanse the wound and change the bandage at least daily or whenever it becomes wet or dirty.
- Consult your doctor if the wound does not heal in one week or less or if any of the following warning signs of infection appear: increased pain, redness, swelling, a yellow or white discharge or a bad smell from the wound.
Correct Handling of Friction Blisters
Friction blisters are a result of rubbing between the involved area of skin and the object with which the skin is in contact. Poorly fitting shoes are the most common cause. A friction blister is usually most comfortable if the skin is left over it with the fluid in it. This not only cushions the sensitive skin underneath, but also helps prevent infection. Don't stick a pin in the blister, since this is a frequent cause of infection. Unless infection occurs, blisters usually heal quickly.
If the blister is intact:
- Gently clean the area around the blister and allow to completely dry.
- Apply a Curad® adhesive or hydrocolloid bandage.
- Keep the wound clean, dry, and protected from rubbing.
- Change the bandage at least once each day, or whenever it gets wet or dirty.
If the blister is open:
- Treat it as any other open wound (see Minor Cuts, Scrapes and Wounds)
- You may choose the Curad® Silver Gel Bandage to reduce bacteria and infection while protecting the wound.
As with all wounds, consult your doctor if the wound does not heal in one week or less or if any of the following warning signs of infection appear: increased pain, redness, swelling, or a yellow discharge or a bad smell from the wound.
Nosebleeds are rarely dangerous, even though the bleeding may seem excessive. Most will stop with continuous pressure. If a nosebleed is the result of a significant force or there are additional injuries to the head or face, call 911.
To stop the flow of blood from a common nosebleed:
- Calm the person down
- Have them sit or stand upright.
- Pinch nose with thumb and forefinger for a full 10 minutes without relieving pressure.
- Do not take aspirin or aspirin containing products for 48 hours since it may cause re-bleeding.
- If the bleeding continues despite these efforts, call 911 or consult a doctor.