Baby Care Basics: Baby First Aid

Find out how to maintain first aid kits in your home and car so you can help fix Baby's cuts and scrapes--and learn when you should go to the emergency room.


Here's what to do if your baby gets a cut. Treating a minor cut is pretty simple. Just wash it, pat it dry, and apply an antibacterial ointment, like Neosporin, to prevent infection. Depending on the location, you can cover it loosely with a bandage to help keep it clean. If your little one has a bigger gash that's bleeding heavily, apply firm, steady pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. If blood soaks through the bandage, don't remove it. Cover it with another one, instead. Get him to a doctor if the cut doesn't stop bleeding after five minutes, is ragged, deep, or longer than an inch, is imbedded with gravel or dirt, or is caused by a puncture of rusty object or an animal or human bite. Stitches can only be done in the first six to eight hours after a cut, and are generally not done in doctor's offices. If you're not sure whether a cut may need stitches, go immediately to the emergency room. Be prepared for any emergency by keeping a stocked first aid kit at home and in the car. You should also take an instant CPR course and learn how to help a choking baby.

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