A laceration (cut) can cause a skin break. A cut that hasn’t become infected will get better in a few days as it heals. However, if it has become infected, it will worsen as time passes and can hurt more.
You must take care of your child’s wound so that it heals quickly, doesn’t get infected, and doesn’t leave a scar. Different sorts of wounds call for specific dressings and particular kinds of care. However, it is not always easy to determine whether it is necessary to send your child to a pediatrician to treat an infection.
Read on to learn what to look for when determining if it is time to see a doctor.
1. Pain of the Cut Is Getting Worse
When you notice that your child has a cut, you should carefully examine it and ensure there is no sign of infection. You should also monitor the pain your child is experiencing and decide if it is improving or getting worse.
If the pain starts to increase, it probably means that something is wrong, and you will almost certainly have to take your child to a doctor.
2. There Is an Area of Redness Surrounding the Cut
If an area of redness surrounds your child’s cut for more than a day, you may want to make an appointment with your pediatrician. This is especially true if you notice the redness accompanied by increased pain or swelling.
The redness can signify inflammation, which can appear soon after you discover your child’s cut. Inflammation is a sign that the amount has become infected, which is the body’s way of trying to contain the infection and fight it off.
3. Pus Is Surrounding the Cut
Pus is a sticky fluid created by the body as part of the inflammatory response. It is released when the body tries to fight off an infection. Depending on where the infection is and what kind it is, pus can be white, yellow, green, or brown.
The formation of pus indicates that infection is present, a vital warning sign you should heed. If you see that your child has a cut that is surrounded by pus, you must take your child to a doctor for treatment.
4. A Fever Accompanies Your Child’s Cut
A fever can signify that your child’s immune system is trying to fight off an infection. You should seek medical attention immediately if the cut is accompanied by fever.
5. Healing of the Cut Taking Longer Than Expected
If your child has a cut, the body will naturally try to heal and close the wound to prevent it from getting infected. The body will form a protective layer around the wound to contain it, producing new skin cells and closing the damage from the inside out.
However, the healing process depends on how well the body can fight infection. The healing may be slowed or halted altogether if the cut becomes infected and the body cannot contain it.
If it has not healed even after a week or longer, this may be a sign of an infection or some other complication that needs to get checked out by a pediatrician.
It is essential to take care of your child’s wound immediately, and you must also keep an eye on the wound for signs of infection. If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to consult your child’s doctor.
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