When Your Child's Cut Might Need Stitches

 When Your Child's Cut Might Need Stitches

There’s nothing quite as panic-inducing as seeing blood coming from a nick or scrape on your child. It can be enough to send you into a full-fledged freak-out that makes you want to rush to urgent care. You also know, though, that you need to stay as calm as possible for your daughter or son.

That means you don’t want to overreact, and you likely don’t want to take them to the doctor if their cut could heal at home. Ultimately, you need to know when your child’s cut might need stitches. 

We can help. As both pediatric care and urgent care specialists, our team has expertise in treating kids and cuts. We built this guide to help you assess your child’s wound to determine if it’s something you should see a doctor about. Fortunately, if the answer is yes, we can stitch the cut here at Rapid City Healthcare in Irving, Texas.

So, let’s get to it. Here are the signs your child’s cut needs stitches. 

It’s deep or big

If you can tell just from looking at it that the cut is deep, have a doctor assess it. It’s better to be safe than sorry here. 

If it’s more than a half-inch long, it might also need a stitch. 

You should also look at the width of the cut. If the laceration can’t be easily closed by gently pushing the sides together, adding a stitch or multiple stitches holds the wound closed so it can heal properly.

It has ragged edges

Similarly, if the edges of the cut aren’t smooth, the skin might have trouble healing. Fortunately, stitches can help. 

It’s in a bad location

It’s pretty common for kids to nick their knees or elbows, but there are some other body areas to watch more carefully. Specifically, you should generally see a doctor if your child gets a noticeable cut on their:

If the nick is tiny and it’s not on or near their eye, you may be okay to monitor it at home. But to avoid vision loss, see a doctor about any size of cut to your child’s eye. 

For cuts on other parts of the face, evaluate the size and location. Even if the wound doesn’t pose a health threat, you may want to get stitches for certain facial cuts to minimize scarring in highly visible locations. 

It has debris in it

If you can’t clean the cut out at home, visit us. Even if the cut doesn’t need stitches, your son or daughter needs to have the wound fully cleaned to avoid the risk of infection. 

It’s bleeding a lot

If the cut has checked out with the other determinants on this list, use a clean cloth or gauze to apply steady pressure for five minutes. Continued bleeding after that point means the cut needs stitches. 

Spurting blood serves as another ultra-clear sign that the laceration needs to get stitched up. 

Another note on cut care

Even when the cut doesn’t fall under any of these areas of concern, it may need medical attention. Specifically, if your child got the wound from a dirty or rusty object or an animal bite, visiting our clinic helps you protect them from things like rabies or tetanus. 

Long story short, there’s a lot to think about when caring for a child’s cut. For the help, you need to ensure your child stays healthy — including stitches when the cut requires it —  call our team at Rapid City Healthcare or book your appointment online today.

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