First Aid for Your Baby's Accidents

When your baby has her first accident, here's how to make things better.

Preparing for Accidents

Baby Care Basics: Baby First Aid
Baby Care Basics: Baby First Aid
First-Aid Kit

When my first son, Will, was born, I stocked up on safety items like outlet covers, gates, corner guards for the coffee table, and cabinet locks. You name it, I bought it. Imagine my surprise and delight when this calm little baby eased into toddlerhood with hardly a bump or bruise.

Then came Sam, a fearless explorer, who at 18 months jumps on the couch, climbs to heart-stopping heights, turns faucets on and off, and puts everything in his mouth.

The first time my tiny adventurer fell and really hit his head, I panicked. Should I call a doctor? Could he have a concussion? As Sam wailed in the background, I phoned his pediatrician for advice.

As it turned out, Sam was fine, just bruised. Within 15 minutes, he was back to his daredevil ways. But the experience made me realize how little I knew about basic first aid.

Every year, nearly a quarter of all children suffer an injury that's severe enough to require medical attention and even bed rest. Worse, accidents are the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 21.

Accidents invariably happen, no matter how careful you try to be, so it pays to be prepared. Here's a primer on treating baby's boo-boos -- big and small.

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