You’d love to wrap everybody you love in cotton wool so they’d never get hurt, but, alas, that’s just not possible. Babies and young children are particularly prone to bumps and bruises, because they’re exploring the wonderful world of crawling, walking, and playing. Most of us know what to do in case of serious injury (we recommend taking a first aid course), but what about daily little boo-boos?
- Generally, loud but short-lived crying straight afterwards is a sign that all’s well, but all head or upper body injuries should be carefully monitored for 24 hours.
- Check for broken skin, and clean wounds with cool water and an antiseptic – a natural option is one drop of tea tree essential oil in a cup of water. Pat dry, then cover with a clean dressing.
- Apply ice (e.g. ice pack or frozen peas wrapped in a towel) to bumps – don’t put ice directly on skin as it stings.
- Dab on a blend of lavender essential oil and cream or carrier oil – keep a premixed container in your first aid kit (1 drop lavender to 5ml oil or cream) to relieve pain and swelling, and calm emotions.
- Have an ‘eina’ song that you can sing with your little one to distract and cheer them.
When to worry
Aside from obviously serious injuries, look out for:
• Weak and/or high-pitched crying
• Nausea, vomiting
• Won’t eat or drink
• Eyes not focusing or reacting the same on both sides
• Sluggishness or lethargy
• Dizziness or confusion
• Has passed out, even if currently conscious
• Pale, clammy skin.
When in doubt, call your doctor. Any injury, except for the smallest bumps, to tiny babies should be checked.
Did you know?
Kissing it better really helps. Kissing or other caring physical contact causes release of calming oxytocin and pain-managing endorphins. Psychologically, a child whose caregiver provides a ‘simple’ solution like a kiss trusts and believes that it will help (a form of placebo effect), and feels calmer because he or she feels loved. Lastly, it distracts them and reassures them that it’s not that bad after all. P.S. It works on grown-ups too!
Arnica is your go-to remedy for swollen, sore, throbbing, and red areas, plus emotional trauma. It’s ideal for bumps, bruises, sporting stiffness and injuries, childbirth recovery, post-surgery, car accidents (ideal because it’s alcohol free) to ease shock and physical discomfort. It can even be taken for a few days before surgery or labour to help prevent excessive swelling and bruising (contrary to popular belief it won’t make you bleed more). Take it as soon as possible after an injury, and then every hour for the next 24 hours. Thereafter, take it three times daily until the symptoms subside. No household first aid kit is really complete without it.
Sister Lilian Remedies are made of isomalt, which is lactose-, gluten-, yeast-, and sugar-free, is a natural prebiotic, and doesn’t cause cavities. It’s harder than conventional lactose-based homeopathic tablets and needs to be crushed for little ones who can’t chew yet.
Sister Lilian Remedies are available from Dis-Chem, selected pharmacies and health shops, and our online shop.
This Article was previously published in Vitalise Magazine.