A bloodstained, scraped nose on a crying toddler is alarming, but in most cases there is no need to panic. Although they can bleed and sting, scrapes, or abrasions, are rarely serious and involve only the surface layers of the skin. Scraped noses are common in toddlers and young children, usually as the result of short falls or other minor accidents. Proper care of a toddler’s scraped nose minimizes pain, reduces the risk of infection and helps prevent scarring.
Press down on the scrape using a clean cloth and gentle pressure. This will help stop any bleeding. Severe bleeding, extensive tissue damage or signs of a broken nose require immediate medical attention.
Wash the scrape with warm water and a mild soap. Examine the wound for dirt and debris, and remove with tweezers or by flushing with water. Do not leave dirt, splinters or other debris inside the wound, or you could risk infection. According to the Merck website, you should not wash scrapes with iodine, peroxide or alcohol, because these can slow healing and damage skin tissue.
Apply a topical antibiotic to your toddler's scraped nose to prevent infection, and then cover the area with a bandage or non-stick, sterile piece of gauze.
Keep the wound covered as much as possible if your toddler attempts to pick at his nose or remove the scab. According to the Nemours Foundation, scabs protect scrapes and allow the skin to heal. They typically fall off within one or two weeks. Picking at the scab can delay healing or cause scarring.
Change your toddler's bandage as it becomes soiled, wet or bloody. Report any bleeding that continues after 24 hours to your child's pediatrician. Check the bandage for colored or foul-smelling discharge that can indicate an infection.
Schedule an appointment with your child's pediatrician if your toddler's scraped nose fails to heal after two or three days, or if increased swelling, itching or redness develop. Your child might need professional care or treatment with antibiotics. Call your pediatrician right away if your toddler has not received a tetanus vaccination.
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You can use ice and acetaminophen to reduce the pain and swelling associated with abrasions.