Bruises

What is a bruise?

A bruise is a collection of blood underneath the skin that is caused by trauma to an area of the body. Sometimes, enough bleeding occurs so that a lump also forms (this lump is called a hematoma).

First-aid for bruises:

A bruise will usually heal on its own. Some general guidelines for treatment may include:

  • Calm your child and let him/her know that you can help.

  • A cold or ice pack for the first 24 hours after injury may help reduce swelling and discomfort. After one to two days, warm soaks or a warm bath may help the area feel better.

  • If the bruise or swelling is on the lips or in the mouth, offer your child an ice cube or ice pop to suck on.

  • Avoid putting more pressure on the bruised area or massaging it.

  • If the bruise involves a large area on an arm or leg, elevate the limb to help reduce swelling.

When should I call my child's physician?

Specific treatment for bruises that require more than minor treatment at home will be determined by your child's physician. In general, call your child's physician if your child:

  • bruises often or has recurring bruises without known trauma or cause.

  • has increased pain or swelling.

  • is unable to move a joint.

  • may have broken a bone.

  • has injured or bruised an eye.

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