Summer First Aid: Minor Wounds
Cuts and grazes are common injuries that you might need to deal with over summer.
You can usually treat a cut or graze yourself by stopping any bleeding, carefully cleaning the wound and covering it with a plaster or bandage.
1. Stop the bleeding
- Check the wound and make sure there’s nothing stuck in it.
- Put pressure on the area for several minutes using a clean cloth or bandage.
- Raise the injury above the level of your heart to help reduce the flow of blood.
- When the bleeding has stopped, firmly wrap a new bandage over the cut. Check it after 10 minutes or so if you need to clean the wound.
2. Clean and dress it
- Wash your hands well with soap and water.
- Clean it with tap water or use sterile saline solution if you have some. Try to gently remove dirt or gravel if it’s a graze.
- Gently pat dry with a clean cloth, towel or gauze swab.
- If you have some, apply antiseptic cream like Savlon or Betadine if it needs cleaning.
- Cover with a non-stick dressing and keep dry for at least 24 hours.
- Replace the dressing if it gets wet or dirty.
- Check whether you need a tetanus injection if it is more than 10 years since your last one, or 5 years if the wound is dirty and deep.
- Deeper cuts might need stitches by a nurse or doctor.
Find more information on treating minor wounds on Healthify.nz