Treating Bruises in Children

Bruises are not very common in infants. They're more common on the lower legs and foreheads of toddlers just learning to walk, active preschoolers, and elementary schoolchildren.

Call Doctor If:

  • The bruised area seems very painful, swollen, or infected.
  • Your child has a bruise after a serious accident or head or abdominal injury.
  • Your child has a large number of bruises or unexplained bruises.
  • Your child has a fever.

1. Apply Ice

  • Wrap a cold pack in a towel or washcloth and hold it against the bruise for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Repeat, but no more than once an hour.
  • Do not hold ice or anything frozen directly against a child's skin.


2. Elevate the Area

  • If possible, raise the bruised area above the heart to reduce swelling.

3. Reduce Pain

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on November 05, 2019



Cincinnati Children's Hospital: "Child Abuse Questions." "Bruises."

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.