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Superficial Injuries Overview

During a child's day, minor injuries may happen during play and sports activities. The face and head are especially at risk for cuts and scrapes because:

  • Children have much larger heads in comparison to the rest of their bodies than adults do. This creates a larger "target" when falls happen.

  • Children's center of balance is not completely adjusted yet due to their rapid growth and "bowed" position of the spine.

  • Children's feet are often "toed-in." This causes them to trip and fall when walking and running.

  • Children like to move fast and often run rather than walk. This happens even before they are able to run confidently.

  • Children do not think about consequences for their actions. They may act impulsively and create unsafe conditions. These include running with a pencil in their mouth or scissors in their hands.

Regardless of how careful you are about superficial injuries to the face and head in your home, or how many precautions you take when your child is outdoors playing, superficial injuries to the face and head do happen.

By remaining calm and knowing some basic first-aid techniques, you can help your child overcome both the fear and the trauma of superficial injuries to the face and head.

Medical Reviewers:

  • Adler, Liora C., MD
  • Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN