Seeing a toddler crying with a bloody, scraped nose can be an alarming sight for most parents, but there is no need to panic. Even though a scraped nose can sting and bleed, it is rarely serious and only involves the exterior skin layers of the nose. You can register for first aid training to learn how to properly manage scrapes and cuts.
A scraped nose is quite common among toddlers and young children, usually as a result of minor accidents or falls while playing. By providing proper care to a toddler with a scraped nose, it can drastically help minimize the pain, reduce the risk for the development of infection as well as prevent scarring.
Steps in handling a toddler with a scraped nose
- Initially, you have to press down on the scraped nose using a clean towel or cloth and gentle pressure. This will help control the bleeding. As for severe bleeding, signs of a broken nose or extensive tissue damage, it requires immediate medical attention.
- The scrape must be washed using mild soap and warm water. The wound must be checked for debris and dirt. You have to remove them using tweezers or by flushing with water. Always remember not to leave any dirt, debris or splinter inside the scraped nose since it increases the risk for infection. You should not wash scrapes using peroxide, iodine or alcohol since these can slow down the healing process as well as cause damage to the skin tissue.
- You have to apply a topical antibiotic on the scraped nose of the toddler to prevent the development of infection and cover the affected area using a bandage or non-adherent sterile gauze.
- Always keep the wound properly covered as much as possible if the toddler tries to pick on his/her nose or remove the scab. Take note that the scab protects the scrape while allowing the skin to heal. The scabs usually fall out within 1-2 weeks. If the toddler picks on the scabs, it can delay the healing process or even lead to scarring.
- The bandage on the scraped nose must be changed once it becomes soiled, bloody or wet. Any bleeding that lasts for more 24 hours must be reported to a doctor. You have to check the bandage for foul-smelling discharge which indicates an infection.
- It is best to consult an appointment with a doctor if the scraped nose of the toddler does not seem to heal after 2-3 days or if there is increased itchiness, swelling or redness. The child might require medical care that involves antibiotics. You have to consult a doctor as soon as possible if the toddler was not given a tetanus vaccination recently.
The pain and swelling linked with the abrasion can be reduced by applying an ice pack and providing acetaminophen.