Thu, Mar 24, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Parents not treating kids bruises correctly: survey

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A survey showed that more than 30 percent of elementary-school students are bruised playing sports or other activities at least once a month, but nearly 60 percent of parents incorrectly treat or do not know how to treat, bruises, a sports medicine physician said yesterday.

Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Department of Orthopedic Surgery physician Chou Wen-yi (周文毅) said that according to a survey of more than 600 elementary-school students’ parents last month, 35 percent of the children — about 400,000 people — are bruised at least once every month.

The survey showed that bruises most often occur on knees and arms, and occur most often from playing baseball, taekwando and basketball, followed by bicycle riding, rollerblading, running, playing dodgeball and soccer.

“Most bruises from playing sports are acute sports injuries that happen in a moment, such as being hit by a baseball,” Chou said. “When the body is hit by an external force, small blood vessels can break and leak, causing a bruise, and a serious bruise can become a hematoma, which can take up to two weeks to heal.”

Many parents treat bruises by applying a warm compress and gently rubbing it, or even by the traditional remedy of rolling a hot hard-boiled egg on the bruise, he said.

Recommended treatment for treating bruises is “cold, medicine, warm, doctor” accordingly — first a cold compress is applied on the bruise during the first 72 hours — about six to eight times per day for 15 to 20 minutes each time — , Chou said.

After applying bruise relief ointment or cream, apply a warm compress after the first 72 hours — for about 10 to 30 minutes each time — and see a doctor if the bruise or hematoma remains for an extended period of time, he said.

“Cold compresses can relieve pain and reduce inflammation, but always put something like a towel between the ice and skin, to avoid frostbite,” Chou said, adding that hot compresses can be applied after 72 hours to improve blood circulation, but be careful not to apply it if the bruise is still swollen or if it feels hot when touched.

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