Evaluating The Severity Of Your Child's Cuts To Choose A Treatment Path
It's easy for parents to understand that kids will be kids and accidents can happen, but that doesn't eliminate the panic and worry that you're likely to feel when your child suffers a laceration or cut. When faced with this kind of reality, it's tough to decide whether it's minor enough to treat at home or if it really warrants urgent care or emergency room attention. While there are no solid standards by which to determine exactly how to deal with every cut, there are a few things you should evaluate first.
If the cut needs to have stitches, you need to visit an urgent care. The best way to determine if it needs to have stitches is to evaluate the bleeding. If the bleeding continues even after several minutes of applying direct pressure with a bandage or gauze, that's an indication that the wound needs prompt medical intervention. This is for cuts that are particularly deep or wide, because they need to be closed in order to heal. In most cases, it means that the cut will likely need to be sutured to close it, help it heal, and to minimize scarring.
The location of the cut needs to be considered. Cuts on the face are typically more concerning because they tend to bleed more than others and that bleeding can be difficult to stop. If the cut is on your child's face, lip or around the eye, it's important to have that treated as well.
Tetanus concerns should be taken seriously. If your child hasn't received a tetanus shot recently and has suffered a serious cut, you should seek an urgent care facility's treatment. That way, your child can receive a shot if necessary.
You can deal with smaller cuts on your own. If the cut doesn't seem to be bleeding heavily, you may be able to deal with it yourself. Apply steady, firm pressure with gauze for several minutes until the bleeding stops. Then, treat it with antibiotics and keep it bandaged until it heals. That protects the cut from the risk of infection. However, if you notice swelling, redness, discoloration or other problems with the cut, you should seek further attention from an urgent care facility, such as Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.
With this information, you'll be better prepared to differentiate between cuts that can be treated at home and those that require more extensive medical intervention. Before you panic at the sight of a cut, you can take a deep breath and evaluate it objectively to choose the best treatment measure.