How to Treat Your Kid’s Cuts and Bruises Quickly, According to a Boxing Cutman
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How to Treat Your Kid’s Cuts and Bruises Quickly, According to a Boxing Cutman


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Parenting can be a full-contact sport, from the early days of trying to prevent your toddler from falling off playground equipment to tending to your teenager’s busted elbow after they (unsuccessfully) attempt a new skateboard trick. As much as you try to keep your kids in one piece, there is going to be blood—and it’s not always easy to get them to slow down long enough for you to properly patch them back up.

Given the high-intensity nature of parenting, and the technical difficulties of trying to treat a kid with a nosebleed who just wants to get back to the playground, we decided it was best to ask a boxing cutman—whose job is to treat a fighter’s cuts and bruises in the sixty seconds they get between rounds—about some of the tricks and techniques they use.

“We’re really a 55-second medic, because it takes a few seconds to get them into the corner,” said Aaron Navarro, a professional boxing coach and cutman at Main Street Boxing & Muay Thai in downtown Houston.

In addition to his 20 years of experience as a cutman, which most recently has included working the corner for professional boxers such as O’Shaquie Foster and Regis Prograis, Navarro also has kids, which means he’s had plenty of opportunities to use the skills he’s learned outside the ring. “I use these skills all the time,” Navarro said. “On my kids, on other people’s kids. They come in handy.”

Start by assessing the situation 

“The first thing I like to do is to clean them up and see what I am really dealing with, and make the decision of what to do from there,” Navarro said. “Sometimes it looks worse than it actually is.”

Given the high-pressure situation of his job, not to mention his experience as a parent, he’s learned that staying calm in these situations is the best way to work quickly and efficiently. “Even if they’re busted up, we remain calm and try to keep them calm,” Navarro said. “That helps.”

How to stop a nose bleed 

If your kid has a nosebleed, the best way to stop it quickly, according to Navarro, is to tilt their head back and apply pressure to the area where the bone meets cartilage. “You want to slide your thumb and forefinger right under where the bone stops, on the hard part of the cartilage, and put a good hard amount of pressure right there for a good 15-20 seconds,” Navarro said. “That’s going to slow it down a lot.”

It also helps to put some cotton in the nostril, to stanch the bleeding, but for that, it’s important to exercise some finesse. “If you’re going to put some [cotton] in there, don’t go too far back,” Navarro said. “The reason it is bleeding is because there is some damage to the blood vessels that are in there. You don’t want to push anything too far, and do any more damage to it.”

Cold and pressure work wonders 

Navarro’s standard techniques, with just about any injury, be it a cut or a bruise, is to apply cold and pressure. “Cold and pressure work the best, and they are easily available to everyone,” Navarro said. The simplicity of cold and pressure means that it can be used under pretty much any circumstances to provide the short-term relief you need.

With pressure, you want to exercise moderation, as a firm amount of pressure will help slow the bleeding, but too much can cause additional damage. “You don’t want to do anything that will aggravate the injury,” Navarro said.

Applying cold will help slow down the bleeding in the short-term. “The cold will help tighten up the blood vessels, which will slow down the bleeding,” Navarro said. “The good thing about ice is that even if you don’t need it, it won’t hurt you.”

For better healing, stay hydrated 

When it comes to healing from the injury, it’s really important to stay hydrated. “Your body is sending blood and fluids to that area, because there’s damage,” Navarro said. “You want to stay hydrated, and keep blood circulating the way it’s supposed to.” Over the course of the next few days or weeks, this improved blood flow will give your body the chance to repair the damage.



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Written by Rachel Fairbank

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