First aid treatment for bruises in children & babies

First aid essentials: Managing bruises in children and babies

When it comes to childcare, ensuring the safety and well-being of our youngest is paramount. Among the common injuries children and babies face are bruises, which, while often minor, can cause considerable concern for parents and caregivers. In this blog, Rose aims to provide essential information on the first aid treatment of bruises in children and babies, backed by reliable statistics, legislation, and best practices. By educating ourselves on proper care techniques, we can swiftly and safely address these injuries, promoting faster recovery and peace of mind.

Key facts and statistics

Bruises are the second most common injury in children after cuts and scrapes. According to health surveys, approximately 50% of infants experience bruising during their early walking stages, as they are more prone to bumps and falls. Understanding the nature of these injuries is crucial in assessing their severity and necessary interventions.

Understanding bruises

Definition - A bruise, medically referred to as a contusion, occurs when small blood vessels burst under the skin due to a bump, fall, or minor trauma. This causes a noticeable discolouration on the surface.

Relevant legislation and regulations

In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not specify regulations for treating bruises at home or in educational settings. However, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) guidelines emphasise the importance of first aid training and appropriate response to injuries in childcare environments. Adhering to these guidelines ensures that childcare providers are equipped to manage minor injuries effectively.

Best practices in first aid treatment

Immediate care: The recommended first aid steps for treating bruises include:

  • Rest - Prevent further injury by resting the affected area.
  • Ice - Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the bruised area for about 20 minutes every hour as needed during the first 24-48 hours.
  • Compression - Use an elastic bandage to compress the bruised area, reducing swelling gently.
  • Elevation - Keep the bruised area elevated above the heart level to decrease swelling and pain.

It's crucial to monitor the bruise and the child's behaviour. If the child seems unusually sleepy or irritable, or if the bruised area is swelling rapidly, seek medical advice.

Recommendations for parents and caregivers

  • Educate yourself - Attend a certified first aid course to gain practical knowledge and confidence in handling common childhood injuries, including bruises.
  • Prepare a first aid kit - Keep a well-stocked first aid kit readily available at home and in the car. It should include cold packs, elastic bandages, and basic first aid supplies.
  • Observe and act - Always monitor the bruise's development, especially if it's large or on the head. If you notice signs of more severe injury, consult a healthcare provider immediately.


While bruises in children and babies are common and usually not a cause for alarm, understanding how to manage these injuries properly is essential. By following the guidelines and best practices outlined above, parents and caregivers can ensure they provide the best care possible. Remember, seeking professional medical advice is a prudent course of action when in doubt.

Interested in learning more about child safety and first aid? Click here to explore our specialised training programs today to ensure you're fully prepared to handle minor injuries more confidently and competently.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

First aid treatment for cuts and grazes in children and babies - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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