Cuts and gashes

Children are always playing and exploring, and getting cuts and scrapes. If there’s a lot of bleeding, press firmly on the wound with a clean cloth, such as a tea towel or flannel. If you don’t have one, use your fingers. Press until the bleeding stops – may be 10 minutes or more.

If possible, raise the injured limb to help stop the bleeding (not if you think the limb might be broken, in which case seek medical help). Cover the wound with a clean dressing. If blood soaks through, leave the dressing there and put another over the top.

It’s very unusual for a wound to cause serious blood loss, but if the cut keeps bleeding or there’s a gap between the edges of the wound, take your child to accident and emergency or a minor injury unit. If there is a possibility of a foreign body (e.g. a piece of glass) in the cut, go straight to A&E.