Stay safe and healthy in the spring
Bruises are bluish or purple-coloured patches that appear on the skin when tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, break or burst underneath. The blood from the capillaries leaks into the soft tissue under your skin, causing the skin to change colour. Over time, this becomes yellow or green – usually around two weeks. Bruises often feel tender or swollen at first. If you have a bruise get help from an adult who can then cool the area with a cold compress (a flannel or cloth soaked in cold water) or an ice pack wrapped in a towel.
Cuts and grazes
If you got a cut or a graze playing or taking part in sports, don’t panic! Most cuts and grazes are not serious, but you should ask an adult to check for any signs of infection for the first few days after the cut has happend. If your teacher, parent or carer thinks that your injury has become infected, they will need to take you to your doctor surgery or a minor injury and illnesses unit. Make sure your parent/carer knows where the nearest MIIU (Minor Injury and Illnesses Unit) is located. The information can be found on the NHS Choices website.
Do you have a constant runny nose and you are sneezing every day for part of the year but not in the winter? It might be a sign that you are allergic to something. Tell your parent or carer so they can find out what they can do for you to make you feel better. Pharmacists can offer great advice. Make sure your parent/carer knows where the nearest Pharmacy is located. The information can be found on the NHS Choices website.
Sprains and strains are very common injuries that affect the muscles. They often happen if you change direction or speed suddenly, fall and land in a strange position or bump into an object or person, such as when playing sports. Where are sprains most common? You can get sprains on your knees, ankles, wrists and thumbs.
How do I know if I have a sprain? You will:
- have pain around the affected joint
- be unable to use the joint normally or being unable to put weight on it
- have swelling, bruising and tenderness
The swelling from a sprain will often happen soon after the injury, but the bruising may not show until later or it may not show at all. Get an adult to check this out for you.
A strain happens when muscle fibres stretch or tear. They usually happen when the muscle has been stretched too much. Where are strains most common? Muscle strains are particularly common in the legs and back.
How do I know if I have a strain? You will have:
- pain in the affected muscle
- muscle spasms
- blood collecting under the skin when you have the strain – this is known as a haematoma, and it may look like a large, dark-red bruise.
Get an adult to check this out for you. If you don’t feel better with regular painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen within a few days, get your carer / parent to speak with your doctor.