Posted on: 6 July 2016
As a parent, you recognize that a child's adventurous spirit and natural curiosity can lead to accidents and injuries. The hard part is knowing when those things are little more than bumps and bruises or when they warrant medical attention. There's always some subjectivity to the need for medical attention based on how severe the injury is and how skilled you are at fundamental first aid, but there are some things you should always consider when your child comes to you with a cut.
Is It Severe Enough For Stitches?
Any time a cut is severe enough for stitches, you need to call your pediatrician or visit the local urgent care. For example, if you cannot stop the bleeding after a few minutes of direct pressure, that's a sign that it's time for medical attention. Hold gauze over the wound, applying steady and firm pressure to it. If that doesn't work, it means the wound will need to be stitched to close it up and encourage it to heal.
The same applies if the cut is visibly deep and wide, because it won't heal well otherwise. The stitches help to encourage the skin to restore itself, which also reduces the scar tissue over the wound.
Where Is The Cut?
Cuts around the face are a bit more serious a concern. These types of cuts often bleed heavier than others and can be more persistent. If your child has a cut to the face or the lip, call the pediatrician right away.
Are There Any Tetanus Concerns?
If your child hasn't had a tetanus shot in several years and the cut is significant, you'll need a pediatrician or urgent care. Your child will potentially need a tetanus shot to help prevent any infection, especially if rusty metal was involved.
What About Smaller Cuts?
Smaller cuts may not need stitches or seem to be a cause for significant concern. However, you'll still want to keep a close watch on them, because there's always some risk of infection or improper healing. Keep the cut bandaged to prevent exposure to germs, and treat it with an antibiotic cream each day. If you start to see any redness, swelling, discoloration or other changes, call the pediatrician right away. These are indications of potential infection.
With these tips, you'll be better armed to both assess and address any injuries your child may sustain. Talk with a pediatrician like those found at Alpert Zales & Castro Pediatric Cardiology about any other things you should watch for or other times when they may want to see your child to treat a cut.Share