10 Health Tricks Every Parent Must Know

Clean a Cut

How to do it: First wash the area with soap and water, then use a clean squirt toy or turkey baster to direct a stream of clean, warm water into the wound. Pat dry, apply an antibiotic ointment, then bandage loosely.

Why it works: "By irrigating the area, you're more likely to flush out any last bits of dirt and grit, which speeds healing and decreases the chance of infection," explains Lewis First, M.D., chief of pediatrics at Vermont Children's Hospital, in Burlington.

When to call the doctor: If you can't remove all of the foreign material from the wound, if the cut won't stop bleeding or looks particularly deep, or if you see signs of infection, such as redness or pus.

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