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Abrasion in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What is an abrasion?

An abrasion is a wound on your child's skin. Abrasions usually happen when his or her skin rubs against a rough surface. Examples of an abrasion include rug burn, a skinned elbow, or road rash. Abrasions can be deep or shallow. The wound may hurt, bleed, bruise, or swell.

How can I care for my child's abrasion?

  • Wash your hands and dry them with a clean towel first.
  • Press a clean cloth against your child's wound for 5 to 10 minutes to stop any bleeding.
  • Rinse your child's wound with clean water. Do not use harsh soap, alcohol, or iodine solutions.
  • Use a clean, wet cloth to remove any objects, such as small pieces of rocks or dirt.
  • Rub antibiotic ointment on your child's wound. This may help prevent infection and help your child's wound heal.
  • Cover the wound with a non-stick bandage. Change the bandage daily, and if it gets wet or dirty.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • The bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of firm pressure.
  • The redness around your child's wound begins to spread.
  • You cannot rinse one or more foreign objects out of your child's wound.

When should I call my child's doctor?

  • Your child has a fever or chills.
  • Your child's abrasion is red, warm, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.