Summer First Aid for Dummies


First of all, you aren’t the dummy. I’m the dummy.

After my toddler had his third skinned knee in a period of two weeks, I realized that I have zero clue what I’m supposed to do about it. Let it air out? Bandage it up? Neosporin? I don’t really know!

When I saw a boy get his knee trapped in some playground equipment and his quick-thinking mom lubed it up with hand sanitizer to slip it back out, I wondered what the heck I would have done in that situation. Definitely would not have thought to grab the hand sanitizer! So smart!

With two rough and tumble boys at home with me this summer, I thought it would be a good idea to do a little research to figure out the best ways to handle summer first aid dilemmas.

*Please note, I am not a medical professional, so always seek your doctor’s advice when necessary!

What to do when…

Your kid gets a splinter: You can remove it with tape! Place a small piece of tape over the splinter, press gently, and pull the tape off in the direction that the splinter entered the skin. Clean the area with some antibiotic ointment and cover it with a band-aid.

Your kid gets a cut or scrape: The best way to clean it is with cold water (well that’s easy and convenient)! If the wound is in an area that gets dirty, like a knee, bandage it. If it isn’t, leave it uncovered. Keeping it uncovered keeps it dry and helps it heal.

Your kid breaks a bone: If there is no bone piercing the skin or extreme pain, you can drive your child to the emergency room yourself. Prop up the injured area with something soft (like a towel), apply an ice pack to reduce swelling, and give them a regular dose of pain medicine if they are in a lot of pain.

Your kid gets stung by a bee: As long as they are not allergic, you can handle this at home. First, remove the stinger! You can do this with tweezers or scrape it loose with a credit card. Once the stinger is out, apply a cold compress to the area.

Bonus first aid tip for living by the ocean…

Your kid gets stung by a jellyfish: Be prepared and bring a small bottle of vinegar to the beach! If your child is stung, you’ll use it to rinse the area to relieve pain. If there are tentacles still on the skin, use tweezers to pick them out.

It goes without saying that if your situation seems serious, do not hesitate to head to the doctor’s office. There’s no shame by playing it safe and leaving it up to the professionals! Here’s to a fun and SAFE summer!

What tips would you add to the list?


  1. If broken bone is suspected stick to Acetaminophen/Tylenol instead of Motrin/Advil/Ibuprofen though. If they need to have surgery to set it, doctors don’t want them to have had medications that thin the blood because it increases their bleeding risk.

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