Bumps and knocks are a natural part of growing up and will probably be a frequent occurrence for children as they become independently mobile. In fact, the organisation responsible for avoiding accidents (RoSPA) has said that adventurous children who risk minor injury in early years teach themselves valuable lifelong lessons that help them to avoid serious injuries in later life! In children, the skin is the most commonly injured part of the body, and bruising is the most common form of skin-related injury.
What is a bruise?
Often caused by a blunt instrument, bump, knock or fall, bruises are not usually dangerous and they normally look much worse than they actually feel! The reason that bruises go a purple-like colour is because the capillaries in the area that has been knocked get damaged and blood seeps into the tissue around it.
There are 5 stages of bruising. A fresh bruise is usually a deep purple colour, then after a day or two it will turn blue. The bruise will then turn brown, then green, then yellow and finally back to the normal skin colour as it heals.
What might bruise one person may not necessarily bruise another. It all depends on their tissue and whether the muscles are relaxed or taught underneath the skin. Sometimes, bruising can be more serious and if you find that you keep getting bruises with no explanation as to how they happened, you should see your GP † . Similarly, if a bruise does not heal within a couple of weeks or if it's accompanied by severe pain, blurred vision, vomiting or dizziness, it's time to consult a doctor.
- Eat foods high in bioflavonoids. A bioflavonoid’s primary job is to help maintain the capillaries; keeping them strong. Bioflavonoids are also anti-inflammatory. Lemons, green peppers, broccoli and rose hips are good sources and for the best absorption into the body, take alongside a Vitamin C supplement.
Homeopathy - talk to your homeopath about which homeopathic remedies might be able to help.∏
- Cabbage has been used for traditional medicinal purposes, as well as for cooking due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Other ways to help
- Avoid massaging the area
- Raise the bruised area if possible as this will reduce blood flow to the bruised area.
- Wrap a bag of ice (or frozen peas) in a cloth and gently place over the affected area (note: keep removing it at regular intervals to avoid damaging the skin). Alternatively packaged ice lollies are excellent to apply to the area (and kids will enjoy eating them afterwards!)
- Do not use aspirin as a form of pain relief since it may prolong bleeding into or under the tissue.∏
Multiple, unexplained bruises should be evaluated by a doctor – especially on children who are not yet mobile.
† Medical referral is advisable if symptoms worsen or persist.
∏ On no account should prescribed medication be discontinued, except under a doctor’s supervision