9 months old
Injuries and First Aid Tips
Bumps and Bruises
As your baby starts crawling, pulling up on furniture and eventually walking, expect a fair amount of goose-egged heads, bloody lips and tears. Luckily most accidents during this learning process will be minor scrapes and bruises, so the most important thing you can do is to keep calm. Give hugs, kiss the boo-boo and reassure your little one (“You’re all right!”). Some situations might require a little distraction, but in most cases your baby will bounce back quickly.
Babies are a resilient bunch, but it’s important to stock up on First Aid supplies now:
- Put a child-friendly ice pack in your fridge for those inevitable head bumps. We really like the Mini First Aid “I’m OK!” Set, which comes with a mini ice pack, bandages, antiseptic wipes and a pocket case in a variety of fun patterns.
- Also have some squeeze-to-activate cold packs for traveling, in addition to those kept in the freezer.
- Buy antibiotic ointment to help heal cuts and scrapes, as well as sterile bandages and gauze pads.
- You’ll also need tweezers for splinters or ticks.
- Have the number for your baby’s doctor, the local hospital and Poison Control stored in your cell phone.
- Ask your doctor about their emergency policy. Should you call the office or go straight to the Emergency Room?
- Keep your First Aid supplies in a kit or box so that everything is all in one place. It’s also a good idea to keep a smaller stash in your handbag or glove box.
- It’s always smart to take a baby CPR class, just in case. It could be a matter of life or death.
In the rare case of a serious accident, it’s important to act quickly and know what to do. Here are some important tips to know:
- If your baby is unconscious or losing a lot of blood, call 911 and start First Aid immediately.
- Lay your baby down flat and elevate his or her feet about 6 inches to increase blood flow to the brain.
- Keep your baby calm so that his or her heart rate doesn’t rise.
- If you can, elevate the part of the body that’s bleeding to decrease blood flow.
- Put pressure on the wound with a sterile bandage, clean cloth or even your hand if nothing else is around.
- If you soak through a bandage, layer another one on top.
- Once the bleeding stops, leave the bandages as is and wrap another one around the site.
- Once the bleeding is controlled, take your baby to your local emergency room for possible stitches.
- There are three levels of severity: A first-degree burn (which is the least serious) will make the skin look red and possibly a little swollen. A second-degree burn is the most painful for your baby, and you’ll notice blistering and swelling. The most serious type of burn, a third-degree burn, is actually the least painful because your baby’s nerves have been damaged. The skin will look white and noticeably burnt.
- While your baby is under a year old, call your doctor for any burn – even a minor one.
- For minor burns on your baby’s hand, arm, leg or foot, run the burned area under cold water for as long as your baby will stand it. If your baby’s face, stomach or back is burned, apply cool compresses to the area.
- After soaking the area, gently dry your baby’s skin and cover the area with a non-adhesive bandage.
- For more serious burns, remove your baby’s clothing, raise the burned area above your baby’s heart (if possible) and apply cool wet compresses. If your baby is conscious and is able to eat, give your baby fluids for rehydration – whether it’s breast milk, formula or water. Call for emergency assistance.
- For chemical burns, remove any clothing that has chemical matter on it, and then gently clean the area with a cloth. Call your doctor or Poison Control (depending on the severity) while flushing your baby’s skin with large amounts of water.
- If your baby has electric burns from an electric shock, first unplug the electric source (if possible) or use a nonmetallic object to separate your baby from the source.
- If your baby isn’t breathing, have someone call 911 while you give infant CPR. If no one else is there, give your baby CPR first and then call 911.
- If your baby is breathing, look for an electric burn. Don’t put any compresses or ointment on the burn, as you should wait for a doctor. As soon as you can, bring your baby to an Emergency Room to be checked for internal injuries.
- Your baby will most likely have a number of minor head bumps and bangs throughout the first year (and even more during the toddler years), and they often sound and sometimes look worse than they actually are.
- Head injuries are most serious if your baby falls from a height equal to or greater than his or her height.
- A head injury can also be more serious if your baby is hit on the head with an object.
- Also, being hit on the front or back of your baby’s head is better than a blow to the side.
- Treat most head bumps with an ice pack and a few kisses.
- However, it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on your baby for the next 5 or 6 hours, just to make sure your baby doesn’t have a concussion. It’s normal for your baby to feel drowsy for a couple of hours, but follow your gut if you think something is wrong.
- Also, don’t let your baby sleep too long right after a big head injury. Wake your baby every couple of hours and/or check to make sure he or she is breathing.
- Call your doctor or 911 if you notice:
- An inability to wake your baby
- A deep indentation in your baby’s scalp
- Blood or fluid coming from his or her nose or ears
- Unequal pupils
- Dilated pupils
- Pale skin and/or apparent bruising under your baby’s eyes or ears
- Continuous vomiting
- If your baby just isn’t acting “right,” it’s better to call your doctor and have him or her checked out.