This article is about cuts and blood and how to handle it when it occurs. I am sure as a mom you’ve done the internal “Ouch!” as you’ve seen your child skidding off a bike! All children create opportunities for cuts and abrasions; whether it’s falling off a bike, a scooter, a rock, from a tree, a skateboard or a surfboard. How you handle the situation, the cut and the blood makes all the difference to how they heal and feel about their body.
Before we go into it though I want to point out some differences between cuts, abrasions and a gash. And also establish some common sense boundaries. A cut is a wound to the skin; an abrasion results from a scrapping or friction of the skin against another surface but with less blood and a gash is usually larger and deeper with perhaps more bleeding.
And here is the common sense part… the following information is outside the steps associated with a hemophiliac or individuals with blood clotting challenges or major trauma. You will need to judge if stitches are required.
In the most common health approach – Allopathic – the routine for a cut is:
1) cover the cut as fast as possible so your child cannot see the blood and will be a lot calmer
2) clean the area of blood
3) thoroughly wash the cut
4) asses the depth and gauge if stitches are required or not
5) place a clean cloth over the cut and apply pressure to stop the bleeding
6) hold the cloth over the cut for at least 2 minutes
7) place some antibiotic ointment on in case of infection and then a Band-Aid over the site
8) provide over the counter (OTC) pain relief medication if required.
The Alternative approach handles a cut in much the same way as the Allopathic. But instead of placing an antibiotic ointment over the cut, comfrey leaf or calendula maybe topically used. Aloe Vera gel can be soothing too. In addition, tea tree oil is an effective antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agent. Some people also use an Arnica cream and Rescue Remedy depending on the severity of the trauma associated with the cut.
But how does a VITAL MOM handle a cut?
Well in a Vital Moms world the picture of a cut on is very different.
Firstly I hug my kids like most parents would do and ask what happened, because like any child when they see the blood it creates a hyper response, usually in the form of loud crying. And it doesn’t matter if the cut is miniscule or a larger one any site of blood seems to elicit the same response!
I too, whilst hugging and allowing the blood to flow from the cut area, give them the space to tell me what happened. After the story we observe together the site of the cut and the blood and by this time the energy has dissipated somewhat. I then share/remind about why their body bleeds.
But why does the body bleed in the first place?
Whenever there is a cut the innate wisdom of the body will respond in the same way… with blood seeping, oozing or flowing out. The blood is required as part of the natural healing process. The blood flows naturally to remove from the site debris, dirt and grit. As the blood is allowed to flow a whole cascade of internal events takes place to initiate platelet coagulation.
“What’s that?” I hear you say…well this is where the blood begins to clump together and ever so slightly harden, closing the “gap” where the cut is. This forms the first part of the scab. How long does this usually take…2 minutes! The same length of time it takes to place a cloth over the site and apply pressure, the difference is with a cloth the blood is not freely flowing to remove the debris! The blood stops when the body knows the area is clean and then instigates the formation of a scab.
Most parents however rush to clean the blood away because the first instinct is to stop the blood pouring out, much like stopping a bucket leaking…I understand that need. However rather than race to clean the area… simply pause… and allow the body to do what it innately does best…heal.
We have also taught our children about the healing properties of their own saliva. The other day our daughter cut her finger. I went through the routine with her I outlined above but I ALSO reminded her of the healing properties of her own saliva. I know it sounds crazy and harebrained but it’s not! Have your child lick their own wound, and no they don’t have to swallow their blood, they can spit it out. A person’s own saliva serves a far greater purpose than merely the beginning point of digestion.
In fact, saliva is a powerful wound healer. A report in Science Daily written by scientists from The Netherlands (www.sciencedaily.com) identified a compound in human saliva that greatly speeds wound healing!
Take a look at animals, domestic or wild… you’ll see that they too lick their own wounds!