First Aid for Kids

Kids get hurt. From the early days when they’re getting used to gravity to broken bones in sports events, cuts and scrapes and bumps and bruises are a normal part of life with children. Be prepared with some basic first aid for kids knowledge.

Cuts and scrapes

If your child gets a cut and is bleeding, the first priority is to stop the bleeding. Apply pressure to the cut with a clean cloth till the bleeding stops. 

If the bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes, call your pediatrician. You should also get medical help if the edges of the cut don’t meet.

Once the bleeding stops, you can wash the wound. If the cut happened in a dirty situation, use mild soap. Apply triple antibiotic ointment and cover with a bandage. Replace the bandage once or twice a day and continue using the ointment.

Cuts and scrapes usually heal on their own with this basic treatment.


A small burn with no blisters should be put into cold water as quickly as possible to stop the pain. If there are blisters, call your pediatrician

A large burn requires a call to 911. 

What about that small mild burn, though? Keep it clean and treat it as you would a cut. There is plenty of folklore about burns. You might have heard that you should treat burns with mayonnaise, butter, toothpaste, or vinegar. These folk remedies can actually make the burn worse or more painful, so skip them.

Bumps and bruises

A bump on the head can usually be treated at home with an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas. If your child’s vomiting or seems very sleepy, call your pediatrician. If your child loses consciousness after a bump on the head, has fluids leaking from the nose or ears, has changes in vision, or has neck pain, call 911. 

Bruises elsewhere on the body, from a fall or other minor injury, can be treated with an ice pack. Wrap it in a cloth and keep on the bruise for 10 minutes. If there is pain, call your pediatrician to ask about using a child’s over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen.

Knowing basic first aid for kids ahead of time can make you feel calmer and more confident when an injury happens. That helps your child stay calm, too. Be sure to call your pediatrician if you have questions.