NiteOwl Pediatrics Laceration Care

Laceration Care

Cuts, scratches and scrapes are common in children and can often be treated at home, but some cases call for professional medical assistance.

Seek immediate professional health care attention if:

  • Wound is bleeding severely
  • Blood is spurting out
  • Bleeding cannot be stopped after 10 minutes of constant firm pressure

Minor lacerations can be treated at home with supplies from a medicine cabinet. Follow these steps for minor laceration care:

  • Clean wound with warm water and mild soap
  • Stop bleeding with direct pressure to the area
  • Apply a sterile non-sticking bandage to wound
  • Antibiotic ointment may be used, however, sometimes a rash can occur as a result. Ointment should be discontinued if this occurs

For more serious cuts and wounds, medical attention may be necessary. Seek medical attention if:

  • Laceration is deep or over a joint
  • Wound cannot be cleaned or contains a foreign body
  • There is a puncture wound and person has not had a Tetanus shot or booster in the last 5 years
  • The wound is from a human or animal bite
  • The wound does not heal or shows signs of infection (redness, swelling, pus, or severe pain)

In general lacerations should be closed within 6 hours of the injury onset. The face and scalp can be closed at the discretion of your healthcare provider within 24 hours of injury onset.