First Aid in the Home


Any parent with a busy, active toddler or child knows that kids get hurt by accident from time to time. “Things are going to happen and kids will fall,” says Dr. Piroutek. Young children commonly get hurt at home from rolling or falling off their bed, from falling out of their strollers, hitting their heads or falling off a counter where they are sitting. Falls from monkey bars and injuries from playground equipment are also common, she says.


“If the child is bleeding, put pressure on the wound and put ice on it to help the blood clot a little faster. Wash the wound out, especially if they fall on dirt or gravel,” says Dr. Piroutek. “If it’s through all the layers of the skin, it will heal much better and leave a smaller scar if you come into the Emergency Department and have it cleaned really well and sutured shut.” For bites and stings, use a credit card or something firm to brush the stinger away so you don’t squeeze it and inject more venom into the puncture. Then wash it with water or an antiseptic spray and watch for signs of infection or an allergic reaction, says Dr. Piroutek.


Lots of things can cause nosebleeds, from dry weather to a nasty fall, says Dr. Piroutek. How do you stop the bleeding?

  • “Pinch together the soft part of the nose and put constant pressure on it for 10-20 minutes. Do it constantly and get your child to lean a little forward so that the blood isn’t running down his throat. There’s less risk for choking. If it’s still bleeding a lot, go to the emergency department. Usually pressure will get it to stop.”
  • After the bleeding stops, don’t let your child rub or blow his nose! For a dry nose, a dab of Vaseline gently placed inside the nose up to three times a day will help keep it moist inside, says Dr. Piroutek.

Dr. Piroutek- CHOC Emergency Department Physician

Dr. Mary Jane Piroutek is an instructor in the Emergency Department at CHOC and an assistant professor in the department of emergency medicine at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, where she also completed a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine. Dr. Piroutek is a frequent presenter on topics concerning the emergency care of children, including respiratory distress.

Dr. Piroutek’s philosophy of care: “I treat every child as if they were my own.”

University of California, Irvine,
School of Medicine

Pediatric Emergency Medicine

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Most parents are bound to face a small “medical emergency” at home with their child at some point, whether it’s a nasty scrape, nosebleed or bug bite. Knowing what to do and having some supplies handy can make minor injuries easier to care for when they occur.

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