As a schoolteacher, I see many bruises. Understanding where a bruise comes from is very important. Kids run around and bump into things all the time; bruising is as natural as a lunch break. There are times when I come home from school and see a bruise on my arm or leg because I bumped into something.
It is necessary to understand the timing of a bruise in my profession. After all, I am dealing with middle school children. Understanding the stages of a bruise allows me the discernment as to the severity of a possible issue. Most of the time it is nothing, an injury from playing sports at recess, or someone fell while running.
At times, however, there is a real problem. I see a fresh blue and red mark on the arm and other faded marks on other areas. This may mean that someone or something is continually causing these marks on the child.
At times unexplained bruising occurs, and the child does not know why and how it happened. This is why it is good to know the stages of a bruise. In total, it can take up to four weeks for a bruise to disappear completely. Much depends on the person’s physical health. For me, it takes longer simply because women bruise more frequent than men do especially at my age, twenty nine plus.
A red swollen and very tender bruise will last from zero to two days. The area turns bluish-purple, and the pain starts to subside. The blue-purple can take up to five days to change. After five days, there is no pain, and the bruise starts turning greenish in color. The green can take seven days and then changes to be yellow. Yellow remains seven to ten days, and finally turns brown, lasting up to two weeks. There is no evidence of bruising after two to four weeks.
San Diego schools call for strong observation of bruising not only because of abuse in the home but also bullying between students. If I see a student with unusual levels of bruises on the same spot, or on different spots, I must bring it to their attention. In talking my students, I have to keep it simple and straight to the point. They need to know I will keep it as privet as I can. However, if it is bullying informing the parents and the principle becomes necessary.
If the bruise stays red and purple for a long time without fading, and the pain persists. This may be a sign of a serious medical problem, or internal bleeding. Paying attention to these types of bruising can save a life.