Health Information

Common Childhood Injuries and Poisonings

  • Superficial Injuries Overview
  • Minor Injuries Overview
  • Abrasions

    An abrasion is a superficial rub or wearing off of the skin, usually caused by a scrape or a "brush burn." Abrasions are usually minor injuries that can be treated at home.

  • Animal Bites

    Detailed information on animal bites and rabies, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention

  • Bites and Stings

    Detailed information on insect bites, including bee stings, flea bites, mite bites, chigger bites, spider bites, tick bites, and lyme disease

  • Blisters in Children

    Detailed information on blisters, including cause, first-aid, and treatment

  • Bruises

    A bruise is a collection of blood underneath the skin that is caused by trauma to an area of the body. Sometimes, enough bleeding occurs so that a lump also forms.

  • Burns in Children

    Detailed information on burns, burn types, classification of burns, and burn treatment

  • Cat Scratch Disease in Children

    Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection carried in cat saliva. It is passed from a cat bite or scratch to a human. It can also result from a fleabite, but cats are the main source.

  • Childproof Your Home for Poisons

    Always remember that ordinary products you use each day around the home can become dangerous poisons in the hands of a child.

  • Corneal Abrasions

    A corneal abrasion is a scratch or scrape on the cornea. This is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. 

  • Cuts and Wounds of the Face

    Most minor cuts or wounds to the face can be handled at home with simple first-aid treatment.

  • Cuts and Wounds of the Nose

    Most minor nose wounds can be handled at home, but a wound or bruise that also involves one or both eyes requires immediate medical attention.

  • Treatment for Dog and Cat Bites and Scratches

    For a superficial bite from a healthy household pet, wash the wound with soap and water under pressure from a faucet for at least five minutes.

  • Emergency Contact Information

    In an emergency, it is easy to "forget" even the most well-known information. That's why it is crucial to complete the information in this form for each member of your household.

  • Cuts and Wounds of the External Ear

    Any wound to the ear cartilage that is more than just a superficial cut or laceration should be seen by a doctor to decide if stitches are needed.

  • Superficial Injuries to the Face and Head

    Children are more likely to end up with a cut or scrape on the head or face. One reason is that children's sense of balance isn't completely adjusted.

  • Facts About Poisons

    About 60 percent of poisonings in children involve items other than medicines—plants, cleaning products, cosmetics, pesticides, paints, and solvents.

  • First Aid for Poisonings

    Sometimes accidental poisonings can be treated in the home under the direction of a poison control center or your child's doctor. At other times, emergency medical care is necessary.

  • Flea, Mite, or Chigger Bites in Children

    Fleas, mites, and chiggers are different kinds of small insects. They are also parasites. This means they feed off the blood, skin, or both of animals and humans. These insects are more common in the warm weather. They bite skin and cause symptoms such as bumps, redness, pain, or itching.

  • Frostbite in Children

    Detailed information on frostbite, including symptoms and what to do if frostbite occurs

  • Treatment for Human Bites

    Human bite wounds are more likely to become infected than dog or cat bites. A doctor should check any human bite that breaks the skin.

  • Home Page - Common Childhood Injuries and Poisonings

    Detailed information on the common poisonings and injuries of children

  • Insects in the Ear

    Don't attempt to remove the insect by poking it with a cotton swab. This may push the insect farther into the ear or cause damage to the middle ear and eardrum.

  • Lacerations Without Stitches

    A laceration is tear or opening in the skin caused by an injury. Some lacerations are small and need only minor treatment at home.

  • Lacerations With Stitches

    Stitches, also called sutures, are special types of thread that hold the edges of a wound together while it heals.

  • Lead Poisoning in Children

    Lead poisoning is a totally preventable disease. Children ages 1 to 3 who live in low-income housing built before 1978 are especially at risk.

  • Minor Problem vs. a True Emergency

    In general, take your child to an emergency room after an injury anytime you think the problem may need urgent attention.

  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Children

    Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colorless, tasteless, odorless gas. It is the most common cause of accidental poisoning-related deaths and is often called "the silent killer."

  • Cuts and Wounds of the Mouth and Lips

    The gums, tongue, and lips have a rich blood supply and when cuts occur, these areas may bleed excessively.

  • Mushroom Poisoning in Children

    Mushroom poisoning happens when a child eats a mushroom that has poisons (toxins).

  • Muscle and Joint Injuries

    Detailed information on muscle and joint injuries, including prevention

  • Nursemaid's Elbow

    Nursemaid's elbow occurs when the radius—one of the bones in the forearm—slips out of place from where it normally attaches to the elbow joint.

  • Online Resources - Common Childhood Injuries and Poisonings

    List of online resources to find additional information on common poisonings and injuries of children

  • Poisons and Children

    Detailed information on poisoning, preventing poisoning and how to respond in an emergency

  • Safety for You and Your Child

    You can help your child by being prepared and preventing injuries from happening. It is important to take charge of your child's health and follow a program designed to help you and your family stay healthy and safe.

  • Puncture Wounds

    A puncture wound is a deep wound made by a sharp object. This type of wound may become infected easily because dirt and germs are carried deep into the tissues.

  • Rabies in Children

    Rabies occurs mainly in skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and bats. In some areas, these wild animals infect domestic cats, dogs, and livestock.

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Children

    This infection is caused by a tick bite. Common symptoms are fever and a non-itchy rash that usually starts on the hands, arms, feet, and legs seven to 10 days after the bite.

  • Topic Index - Common Childhood Injuries and Poisonings

    Detailed information on the common poisonings and injuries of children

  • Small Cuts and Scrapes

    Wash the cut area well with soap and water, but do not scrub the wound. A dirty cut or scrape that is not thoroughly cleaned can cause scarring.

  • Snakebites in Children

    Both venomous and nonvenomous snakes can bite. In the U.S., snakebites most often occur between April and October. Even a bite from a nonvenomous snake can cause an infection or allergic reaction in some children.

  • Brown Recluse and Black Widow Spider Bites in Children

    All spiders in the U.S. are poisonous. The fangs of most spiders are too short or too fragile to break through human skin. Or their poison (venom) is too weak to cause damage. Most spider bites cause only minor, local reactions. But some spider bites can be deadly.

  • Splinters

    A splinter is a sharp sliver of wood, glass, or other debris that is lodged underneath the skin. Removal of small, superficial splinters can usually be done at home.

  • Insect Stings in Children

    Insect stings can occur anywhere on the body and can be painful and frightening for a child. Most insect stings cause only minor discomfort. Most stings are from honeybees or yellow jackets (also called ground hornets). 

  • Injuries to the Teeth

    The injury may be to a primary tooth or a permanent tooth. A tooth can be cracked, chipped, or totally detached from its socket.

  • Tennis Elbow

    Tennis elbow is a repetitive stress injury of the elbow that occurs when the muscles and tendons in the elbow area are torn or damaged.

  • Thermal Injuries

    Detailed information on thermal injuries in children

  • Tick Bite Diseases

    Ticks feed on human blood. Most tick bites are harmless, but some species can cause serious diseases.

  • Why Children Bite

    A young child may bite out of frustration or when under stress. Biting may also be an attempt to gain power—or just a way of exploring the world.

  • Minor Cuts, Scrapes, and Skin Wounds

    Detailed information on minor cuts, scrapes, and skin wounds in children

  • Facts About Animal Bites

    Whether the bite is from a family pet or an animal in the wild, scratches and bites can become infected and cause scarring. Animals can also carry diseases that can be transmitted through a bite.

  • First-Aid Kit

    Detailed list of recommended items for a household first-aid kit

  • Foreign Bodies in the Ear, Nose, and Airway

    Children usually place things in their ears because they are bored, curious, or copying other children. Some objects may cause no symptoms, but other objects, such as food and insects, may cause pain in the ear, redness, or drainage.

  • Household Safety Checklist

    Use this list as part of a thorough safety check of your home. It can help prevent accidents and injuries.

  • Insect Bites and Children

    Detailed information on insect bites, including fleas, mites, chiggers, and ticks

  • Nosebleeds

    Nosebleeds are fairly common in children, especially in dry climates or during the winter months, when dry heat inside homes and buildings can cause drying, cracking, or crusting inside the nose.

  • Sprains and Strains in Children

    Strains, sprains, and bruises make up the majority of sports injuries. Treatment for a strain or sprain depends on the child's age and the extent of the injury.

  • Lyme Disease in Children

    Lyme disease is the leading cause of all insect-borne illness in the United States. It is a year-round problem, although April through October is considered tick season.

  • Sunburn and Children

    Protect your child from the sun. Up to 80% of total lifetime sun exposure occurs in the first 18 years of life.

  • Tick Bites

    Ticks attach themselves to the scalp, behind the ear, in the armpit and groin, and also between fingers and toes. Tick bites often occur at night and are more common in the spring and summer months.