First Aid for Bumps and Bruises

This article covers the important topic of first Aid for bumps and bruises. It is a vital part of children’s development learning to take measured risks and this means it is almost inevitable that they will hurt themselves. Most of these bumps and bruises will be minor, but it is vital that parents and carers have the skills and confidence to swiftly assess how seriously they are injured.

child falling off bike

First Aid courses often concentrate on life threatening topics; however it is also important to know the best way to treat everyday cuts and scrapes: The following guide should help you to treat common injuries quickly and efficiently.




Grazes are superficial injuries caused by some of the skin being scraped off revealing a dirty wound. It is never a priority to clean the wound immediately. Minor wounds can be patched up in the short term with a plaster, however they must be cleaned properly once you are somewhere where you can wash your hands, wear gloves and use gauze and water, or antiseptic wipes to clean it thoroughly.

  • Clean the wound from the inside out and throw away the wipe. Repeat this until the wound is completely clean and devoid of any grit or mud.
  • Apply a non-adherent dressing pad, shiny side down onto the wound and secure with medical tape or Micropore.

The dressing can be removed at night to allow the air to get to the wound. Avoid soaking in a bath, or going swimming until the wound has healed properly.

Something embedded in the wound

Objects embedded in wounds should not be removed, however the one exception to this is a splinter.

Splinter removal

To remove splinters you should first wash the wound with warm, soapy water and then use a clean pair of tweezers to firmly grip the splinted and remove it from the same direction as it went in. Squeeze the wound slightly to ensure the splinter is completely out and to encourage a small amount of bleeding to expel any dirt. Ensure their tetanus is up to date.



Bruises – are bleeding under the skin. Apply a wrapped ice pack for 10 minutes to reduce bruising.

Bumped head

head injury - child

For bruised heads and head injuries it is important to look for signs of internal head injury and monitor them closely for the next 48 hours. Call an ambulance if they have, or develop, any of the following:

  • unconsciousness
  • abnormal breathing
  • obvious serious wound or suspected skull fracture
  • bleeding or clear fluid from the nose, ear, or mouth
  • disturbance of speech or vision
  • pupils of unequal size
  • weakness or paralysis
  • dizziness
  • neck pain or stiffness
  • fitting
  • vomiting more than once – (it is not unusual for children to vomit immediately after an accident as a response to pain, so do not panic if the child is sick just once after a head injury – but they should be assessed by a medical professional anyway).

Nose bleeds


Small children frequently get nose bleeds as they have small blood vessels in their noses which dilate and burst when they get warm. Children often pick and poke their noses and are prone to running into things, all of which can result in bleeding noses.

If a child has a nose bleed,

  • Sit them down.
  • Grab something to catch the blood.
  • Lean them forward pinching the bridge of the nose. Leaning the child forward whilst applying pressure to the nose will allow you to see when the bleeding has stopped and will avoid the blood trickling down the back of their throat which could make them sick. You should apply pressure and try to compress the leaking blood vessel against the inside of the nose to stop it bleeding.
  • Keep changing your grip until you have got to a point where no blood is coming out.
  • Keep applying pressure for at least 10 minutes.
  • Release pressure slightly and if it starts to bleed again hold for another 10 minutes and then another.

If it really won’t stop bleeding you will need medical help.

Advise them not to pick, poke or blow their nose. If it starts again you will have to apply pressure once more.

Special situation!

If the nose bleed has been caused by trauma, or a punch in the face, controlling the bleeding may be difficult but you need to try as loss of blood is dangerous. You should apply a wrapped ice pack, keep applying pressure and get medical help.

Everyone should have a First Aid kit in the house, car and take basic First Aid provision out and about with them. There are all sorts of kits available we have a selection of extremely useful ones from Family First Aid kits to easily portable kits for pre-schoolers. Have a look on

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