Ask Dr. Gigi

Mighty Blog

Kids & outdoors: Tips to keep them safe, treat injuries

Dr. Gigi Chawla WCCO Mid-Morning
Dr. Gigi Chawla (right) talks injury prevention and first aid with WCCO “Mid-Morning” hosts Kylie Bearse and Jason DeRusha.

Summertime is synonymous with busyness, with kids active and spending a lot of time outdoors. Gigi Chawla, MD, senior medical director of primary care at Children’s Minnesota, joined WCCO “Mid-Morning” hosts Kylie Bearse and Jason DeRusha to provide safety tips for preventing and treating injuries [WATCH].


The first priority as a parent is to try to prevent injuries. Oversee every event for which your child is present; in the water, on the playground.


If your child sustains a minor scrape or bruise and there’s bleeding, hold something over the area for 1-2 minutes to try to stop the bleeding and assess the wound. Clean using soap and water.

Sprains and dislocations

Because kids are more active in summertime, the risk of suffering a sprain, dislocation or break increases. If an injury occurs, assess whether there’s a broken bone. Ensure there isn’t a point area of pain, and check for swelling.

If there is a break, stabilize the joint as much as possible. If it’s fingers, you can tape a couple together, but make sure not to tape it too tight. You could get swelling and restrict blood flow or blood return.


For minor burns, run under cool, not cold, water. Any time that you have a blister in place, please do not remove it; it’s nature’s way of protecting that tissue while it’s healing.

If there’s a small red area away from the face or neck, you can wash it and treat with an antibiotic salve.


If your child experiences a sting, try to remove the stinger if you can. If you can’t, no problem; the body has its own way of removing it in time. What you need to watch for, though, is if the child’s body has a reaction to the sting. Call 911 for emergency medical attention.


View hours, maps, directions and more for each Children’s Minnesota clinic.