Wound Care Management
For minor injuries, wound care is simple.
- Start by washing your hands before you touch any open skin.
- To clean a small open wound or scrape, rinse the injured body part with sterile or fresh water. If debris is present in the wound, increase water pressure to rinse it from the wound, or gently remove it with sterile tweezers or your clean fingers. Do not scrub at the wound.
- Disinfect the wound using an antiseptic. If you are using an alcohol-based solution, this part may sting, so warn your child calmly that they may feel uncomfortable for a moment. Allow them to hold onto you while you apply disinfectant over the minor cut or abrasion, or dab at it gently with an alcohol soaked sterile cotton pad. Another option is to use mundicare® Antiseptic Gel or Spray to clean the wound. It won’t sting, and it uses natural melaleuca oil to help reduce the risk of infection.
- Use an appropriate, breathable wound dressing for a cut or scrape and change when it becomes soaked through or is uncomfortable.
Although they may be acute in nature at first, most minor wounds heal on their own. However, certain illnesses and situations may cause wounds to heal slowly or become infected. If you think this might apply to your wound, it’s always best to seek medical attention.
Consult a healthcare professional when your wound:
- Won’t stop bleeding
- Contains any foreign material
- Is deep
- Looks infected eg. red, swollen, pain at the site
- Is caused by human/animal bite
- Is caused by a metal object and when you have not had a tetanus shot
How to Prevent Wounds
Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to wound care. You should prevent minor wounds by:
- Staying away from dangerous areas.
- Using a flashlight at night.
Wound Dressing Types for Minor Wounds
Wound dressings are available at pharmacies and can be used to support the healing of your wound or to prevent worsening of an existing wound. Different dressings include¹:
- Low-adherent dressings: low adherent dressings are designed to absorb small amounts of exudate from minor wounds.
- Hydrocolloid: hydrocolloid dressings are generally used on minor burns, blisters and lacerations.
- Adhesive Foam: foam dressings come in varying thickness for mild, moderate and high exudating wounds.
- Adhesive bandage: adhesive bandage or plaster that is designed to be flexible and used on minor wounds.
- Non-adhesive foam: non-adhesive dressings are designed to be extra gentle so they do not damage to healthy or newly formed skin when removed. They also come in varying thicknesses.
¹ Tissue A. What are the Different Types of Wound Care Dressings?. Advanced Tissue. 2013. Available at: http://www.advancedtissue.com/different-types-wound-care-dressings/. Accessed June 15, 2016.