What to Do When Your Child Falls on the Playground

Tips to prepare for bumps and scrapes
adult putting band-aid on child

Bumps and bruises. Scratches and scrapes. They go hand-in-hand with kids and summertime fun. Pediatrician Elaine Schulte, MD, offers these tips.

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Whether your kids are playing on the playground, beach or campground she says good shoes are your first line of defense.

“Wearing closed-toed shoes is key. Flip flops or sandals just make injury more likely because it is easier to trip on bars or roots sticking out of the ground,” Dr. Schulte says.

If your child falls and gets a cut or scrape, she says it’s important to remember three things:

1.   Stop the bleeding.

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2.   Clean the area with soap and water.

3.   Protect it with a bandage.

Parents should watch the area carefully. If it shows signs of swelling or redness, she recommends using a topical antibiotic cream or ointment.

Dr. Schulte says anyone caring for a child should be prepared for minor injuries while playing outside. She recommends parents and babysitters carry a basic first aid kit with a few key items. “Some type of wipe, a cleaning agent, something to sop up a mess and some bandages, you know just some basic bandages maybe a little bigger bandage for areas of big cuts or scrapes,” Dr. Schulte says.

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Dr. Schulte also recommends including a liquid antihistamine in case your child has an unexpected allergic reaction to a sting or bite. You also want to make sure the items in your first aid kit haven’t expired.

Taking a few precautions can keep playground time fun and safe.

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