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When to Take Your Child to the ER for Cuts or Injury

When to Take Your Child to the ER for Cuts or Injury 

Scrapes and bruises are a daily occurrence for children. So how do you know if your child’s latest cut from the playground needs medical attention or not? Consider the following advice to determine if immediate medical attention is warranted. 

If Your Child Has a Cut, Try These Steps First 

  • Clean out the cut with tap water and apply pressure for 10-15 minutes to stop the bleeding. If bleeding does not subside, visit the pediatric ER.
  • Measure the laceration. If a cut that is not on your child’s face, is less than 1 mm deep and less than 1 cm long, urgent care is not necessary. 

If the Laceration is Severe, Emergency Care May Be Necessary 

  • Visit your pediatrician’s office or the pediatric ER if the cut is greater than 1 mm deep and 1 cm long. Lacerations such as this may require stitches or glue.
  • If the cut does not stop bleeding after you have applied pressure for 10-15 minutes, seek emergency care to make sure the bleeding is not indicative of a larger issue.
  • If the cut is on your child’s face, emergency care may be necessary. In most cases, it is best that a layer of broken skin on the face is glued or sewn.
  • If your child is not up to date on his or her immunizations, call your pediatrician to schedule a tetanus shot.