Pediatric practice focuses on the long-term care of acute wounds in children. These wounds result from different social, emotional, and physical causes. In this guide, we will focus on quick, appropriate wound care and prevention of complications. The following review offers information on best practices for healing acute and long-term wounds in children.
What are Pediatric Lacerations?
Lacerations are open wounds that are caused by skin tears. Torn skin may be the result of an accident, a natural disaster, or an act of aggression. These wounds may range in depth and complexity, and they may require surgical intervention. Pediatric lacerations are often a result of an accident. Lacerations are common in the pediatric population, from household accidents, such as children running into windows to accidents caused by confusing traffic signals.
How to Know if a Child’s Cut Needs Stitches?
One of the most important factors in wound care is knowing when to seek out medical assistance for a cut. Many people assume that all cuts need stitches, but this is not necessarily true. If the wound is minor, such as a superficial abrasion, then it is unlikely to need medical care.
In order to know if a cut needs stitches or not, you must know what constitutes a simple laceration and what constitutes a complex laceration.
Simple Lacerations – Simple lacerations are those that are minor and have small amounts of bleeding. These wounds have healthy skin surrounding them and have smooth edges. Lacerations with jagged edges or that are caused by a sharp object are more likely to need stitches.
Complex Lacerations – Complex lacerations are any type of laceration that does not fall into the simple category. This includes deep, jagged lacerations that bleed a lot or involve damaged or torn surrounding skin. A laceration that is not properly cared for may result in scarring or infection.
First-Aid for Lacerations Requiring Stitches
After noticing a cut that needs medical attention, it is important to take immediate action. A pediatrician will likely ask you to clean the wound carefully. Keeping the wound clean helps to prevent infection and scarring. Always follow these steps when providing first aid for cuts that need stitches:
Step 1: Clean Off the Wound
Begin cleaning the wound with a dry, clean cloth. Never use a washcloth or any other damp piece of fabric. This type of fabric may make the wound more susceptible to infection.
Step 2: Determine the Extent of the Injury
You should attempt to determine the depth of the cut and the extent of the skin damage. In the case of a cut caused by a sharp object, it is likely that the object has torn the skin.
Step 3: Remove the Object
If a foreign object caused the cut, you will need to remove it from the wound. This is often easy to do. If you are unsure about how to remove the object, you should contact your child’s pediatrician. In most cases, the object will fall out as the skin heals. If it does not come out on its own, it may be necessary to see a medical professional.
Step 4: Control Bleeding
In order to control the bleeding, you need to control the blood flow to the extremity. This can be done by applying pressure to the blood system. This can be done by applying pressure to the blood vessel that is closest to the cut. If the blood vessel is not immediately visible, you can have the child press down on the area where the blood flows.
Step 5: Call Your Pediatrician
Once you have taken care of the wound, it is time to call your pediatrician. Your child’s pediatrician will need to see your child to make sure that the wound doesn’t become infected.
In conclusion, proper care of a pediatric laceration is the best way to prevent infection, scarring, and complications. The proper first-aid for a cut that needs stitches should involve cleaning the wound, controlling bleeding, and controlling the infection.
To learn more about pediatric lacerations, it’s best to contact a trusted clinic like Your Kid’s Urgent Care. Unlike emergency rooms or hospitals, we provide after-hours medical care in a calm and soothing environment. Whenever you need flu shots, telemedicine, and pediatric urgent care, our New Providence, Vestavia Hills, and Florida care centers are always available to serve you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.