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Injury on (parent) duty – What you need to know

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Whether you just found out that you are going to be parents or you already have a precious little one running around in the house, it’s only normal to be anxious about keeping them safe. Fortunately you can do something about this anxiety: Arm yourself with knowledge of how to act in any common eventuality and you should be able to relax a little.

Here’s some basic guidelines on what you should do if your child has a fever, or suffers from a burn. You should, however, just remember that you should get medical attention as quickly as possible, even if you think that you have handled it.

Burnsburn on hand

Any burn the size of a R2 coin should get medical attention as soon as possible. You can place the burn area in cold water for at least 10 minutes then cover in Clingfilm to keep it sterile and get help. You should remove loose clothing if you can but if it sticks to the burn leave it on until you can get to a doctor.


You should always keep antihistamines in your home. Treat a rash with antihistamine cream but if the area starts to swell up you should get medical attention right away.

Fits or seizures

If your child suffers from a fit you should clear the space around them and phone for an ambulance immediately. Try to cushion their head if they are on the ground and if they have any tight clothing around their necks you should try to loosen it. You should stay calm and keep talking to them until help arrives and take note of the time the seizure starts and ends so that you can tell the doctor.

Head injurieschild injured

You should keep a watchful eye on your child if they bump their heads. If it seems like a minor bump you can place something cold on it like an ice pack or a pack of frozen peas to reduce the redness and swelling. However, if they start to complain about headaches or start to vomit and complain that they are tired you should take them to get medical attention right away and keep them awake.

Chipped or knocked out tooth

If your child has a chipped or knocked out tooth from a fall, it’s best to call your dentist immediately. If it’s a permanent tooth you should try to place it back in its socket; if your child can hold it there by biting down on a paper towel if it’s not possible for them to hold it in place, you can place it in a sealed container with either some saliva or some milk and take it with you to the dentist.

Bleeding wounds

Clean the wound with some water and apply pressure for a few minutes. If the bleeding stops, apply some antibiotic ointment and put on a bandage. If the bleeding doesn’t stop you need to get some help because your child may then need stitches. Don’t clean the cut with alcohol as it will sting and then you will end up with a crying, unhappy and injured child.

lost child on playgroundThis final bit of angst-relieving information is very important for every parent and has to do with when your child is lost.

If your child gets lost in a busy place you should start by calling out their name. But don’t yell uninterruptedly. Take a few breathes in between each time to listen for them yelling back at you. Also, instead of only yelling their name and surname, yell out what they are wearing so that people around you can help you look for them.

Remember that you are doing everything you possibly can to keep them safe and happy, but that accidents will happen. If you are prepared for them it won’t be that bad, and they will eventually forget about the injuries but will always remember that you never left their side and always kept calm when they needed help.

Words: Natassha Burrell


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