If your child sustains a tear in the skin (laceration) call your pediatrician to see if the wound can be treated at home, or if it is best to come in for wound closure. Oftentimes dermabond (medical glue) is used which is a painless procedure.

Lacerations Q & A

How can I tell if a laceration requires wound closure with Dermabond (medical glue)?

If the cut is linear and less than 2 inches (or 5 cm), dermabond may be the best option for your child. If the wound is across the lip, on the eyebrows or eyelids, we would likely refer you to the emergency room for stitches.

What should I expect if my child needs Dermabond to close his/her cut?

Generally, our registered nurse will thoroughly clean the wound using saline and hibiclens. Once the wound is cleaned, the nurse practitioner will assess the wound and use dermabond (medical glue), if necessary to minimize infection risks and minimize scarring. Dermabond application is a painless procedure and much faster than getting stitches.


Will my child need to get a tetanus vaccine after a laceration?

It depends on the type of wound, as well as your child’s vaccine history. We will verify the date when the last tetanus vaccine (DTap or TDap) was received. If your child is not up-to-date on the tetanus vaccine, we would
strongly recommend getting the vaccine after the wound is closed.

How should minor lacerations be treated at home?

Minor cuts and scrapes can be frightening to a child, especially when the child sees blood. After comforting your child, talk them through the steps you’ll take to get the bleeding under control and treat the wound.

  • After washing your hands, apply steady pressure to the area that’s bleeding using clean gauze or cloth
  • Wash the laceration gently with mild soap and water
  • Rinse the area gently with water to remove dirt or debris
  • Apply a topical antiseptic
  • Bandage the area with a clean dressing

When should I call my doctor's office?

  • When you are concerned or not comfortable treating the injury at home
  • The injury bleed heavily for longer than 10 minutes of applied pressure
  • Cuts or lacerations are longer or deeper than one-half inch
  • Cuts are in the facial area or near the eyes or cross the lip borders
  • Puncture wounds caused by rusty metal objects
  • Injuries that contain embedded dirt, sand, or debris
  • Any injury with ragged edges
  • A bite injury from humans or animals
  • Injuries that appear infected (those that are swollen, hot to the touch, or are draining pus)