How To Care For A Wound

   If you encounter a situation where you need to care for a wound, it's important to know what steps to take. While wounds range in severity and location, here are a few basic steps you can take to make sure the wound is properly cared for. 

  1. Determine the severity of the wound. If the wound gapes or is more than 1/2 an inch long, it may require stitches. 
  2. Make sure your hands are clean. The last thing you want is for the wound to become infected; washing your hands prior to treating the wound is a safety precaution that should not be taken lightly. It's easy to forget, but please keep in mind this step..
  3. Pressure. It's important to apply pressure to the wound, with a clean cloth or bandage. Applying pressure should help stop the flow of blood from the injury; if the wound continues to bleed through the cloth or bandage, add another layer and continue applying pressure. If the flow of blood still persists, it's probably time to consult a healthcare professional. 
  4. Wash the wound. Use warm water and soap (preferably a mild one) to sterilize the wound. As with the previous step, this helps prevent harmful bacteria from causing an infection later. This step can save you a lot of trouble later. Also make sure to pick debris out of the wound, when necessary. The goal is to keep the wound as free from contaminants as possible. 
  5. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin; the purpose of this step, again, is to keep the wound free of infection. This can also help reduce scarring. 
  6. Bandage the wound if it is large enough to warrant it. If gauze is required, make sure to wrap a bandage snugly around the wound  and gauze to hold it firmly in place. 
  7. Clean the wound twice a day. Prevention of infection is essential wound care 101. 
  8. Keep an eye out for possible infection symptoms, such as red streaking around the wound, odorous discharge, or swelling of the wound. 
  9. Let it heal! It is essential to resist picking at scabs and interfering with the healing of the wound.

   Knowing proper wound care is essential. Accidents happen, no matter your age, so make sure you follow the above steps to avoid having your wound become a major nuisance, or, even worse, a serious risk to your long-term health and happiness.