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Advice on:
bruises

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BOOM! Yes of course, here comes another bump or bruise.

Seriously…again?

A cliche but oh so true, by falling down and getting up our little ones grow up. The falling down is part of the deal and thus those bumps and bruises.

My son Melle fell on his head regularly as a toddler and it always seemed to be on the exact same spot as well. Two bumps on either side of his head showing transforming into all colours of a rainbow, became part of the daily routine. Until he finally caught on to that big milestone called ‘balance’. After which of course he would still fall but at least a little less frequently.

A bump or bruise is an innocent thing and will disappear by itself. The crying as a result of the fall or impact is usually many times more intense than the spot itself. And those tears are also part of the deal and usually gone within the count of 1,2,3,4,5,6…

Signs & Symptoms

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What is a bruise?

Fortunately bruises are usally innocent. A bruise is an effusion of blood underneath the skin, going by the medical term of hematoma. The small blood vessels can be damaged after a fall or a impact. A effusion of blood araises underneath the skin where it will accumulate resulting in a dark blue spot which will discolor after a few days and vanishes. However this process can also take up to 3 to 6 weeks. The duration of the process depends on the extensiveness of the effusion, intensity of the fall as well as the location on the body. The spot can also be swollen in which case we speak of a bump which can come across as red at first sight.

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How do you recognise a bruise?

In most cases you see it coming or notice it right away because your child has fallen, startles from the event or starts to cry.

Is discoloration bad?
The affected spot is colored red and sensitive when touched. That’s really normal. Sometimes there’s swelling involved, which usually will disappear after a week because of the blood that will be processed and transported by the body. Bruises can appear everywhere on the body and usually pass a color gradient from red to blue, green and yellow.

Causes & Triggers

How does a bruise originate?

A bruise is the result of a blow or impact. The little blood vessels underneath the skin will get damaged and the blood will flow into the tissue. It is an interesting process really because after development of a blood effusion the body will almost immediately come into action. A subcutaneous bleeding originates that will accumulate under the skin which results in a blue- purple stain. Next thing the body starts cleaning the up ‘the mess’ and the waste is transported through the bloodvessels.  

Why does a spot stay for so long?
The process that is responsible for the discoloration of the spot can take a couple of days or even up to 3 to 6 weeks before the spot has completely disappeared. The duration of the process depends on the extensiveness of the effusion, intensity of the fall as well as the location on the body. Afterwards the bruise has disappeared and the skin will look normal again.

Advice & Tips

Mum’s advice

  • A bruise usually heals by itself and can be left alone. Often the drama of the fall or impact itself is bigger and worse in the mind of the child than the bruise that will eventually develop as a result. However, it is smart to cool the sore area so treat every injury with ice. This stimulates the bloodflow which results in a smaller bruise or faster healing.
  • Do you suspect a major bruise will arise? Continue the process of cooling for 24 hrs. Apply the cold compress with intervals of 15 minutes. In the mean while, do not warm the skin but let it heat naturally. A cold compress will limit the swelling and has a anesthetic effect, so the pain is less than when leaving it untreated.
  • Do you notice that your child is more susceptible for bruises, getting them easily or they take longer to disappear? Research shows that adding vitamin C to nutricion has beneficial effects on the healing process. Vitamine C helps to stimulate the growth of protective collagen tissue around the blood vessels in the skin. Always read the leaflet for the correct dosage of course.

Solutions

Taking care of bruises

Medication isn’t necessary for the treatment of bruises or bumps as a result of a fall or impact. They will heal on their own. Besides cooling the sore spot with ice or a cold compress to reduce the swelling you could also treat the sore spot with Bumps & Bruises First Aid Gel. A emulsion with a cooling effect which in addition supports skin repair and nourishes the blue coloured spots. From my experience, after applying the ‘magic bump potion’ as I like to call it with my kids, the drama will quickly resolve. Happy kid, happy mum!

How to continue

How to continue with bruises?

In general you don’t have to see the GP with a bruise or a bump. Usually you can treat the problem by cooling it well and treating it with a specific bumps & bruises gel. Does the bruise stay lon onger than expected or is your child susceptible for bruises which appear without the cause of a fall or impact? Contact your GP just to be sure.

Related products

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Bumps & Bruises First Aid Gel  –  from 6 months

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