Lacerations

After Hours Kids -  - Pediatric Care

After Hours Kids

Pediatric Care located in Austin, TX

A laceration happens when your child’s skin gets a cut following an injury. If the laceration is minor, you’ll likely be able to treat it at home. For deeper or more severe lacerations, After Hours Kids in Austin, Texas can discuss options for wound closure. Oftentimes dermabond (medical glue) is used. Occasionally, staples are used on the scalp to close the cut.

Lacerations Q & A

After Hours Kids

How can I tell if a laceration requires stitches?

The Pediatric Nurse Practitioners at After Hours Kids will carefully evaluate your child’s wound and let you know right away if stitches are needed. If the cut is superficial, meaning it isn’t deep enough to penetrate layers of muscle or fat, isn’t profusely bleeding, or isn’t in the facial area, it likely can be treated without stitches. The primary treatment goal is to thoroughly clean the laceration and then close the wound with dermabond (medical glue) to minimize infection risks and avoid scarring.  Dermabond is painless and much faster than stitches. If the laceration requires stitches, the nurse practitioner will facilitate a referral for your child.

How should minor lacerations be treated at home?

Minor cuts and scrapes are quite 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 a doctor for laceration treatments?

Risk of infection is one of the top concerns for a child with a laceration. You should seek medical attention if it’s been more than five years since your child’s last tetanus shot, or if you can’t remember it was last received. If the wound also involves a possible broken bone, your child should be evaluated. The severity of wounds and lacerations can vary and After Hours Kids recommends that parents seek medical attention under the following circumstances:

  • 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)
  • When you are concerned or not comfortable treating the injury at home

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