Kids get injured all the time when they play: they fall off their bikes, tumble off skateboards, and run into objects. Some of these injuries result in nothing more serious than a cut that can be covered with a Band-Aid, but other wounds require urgent care.
If your child is bleeding, seemingly a lot, out of a wound they've received, deciding whether they need stitches or not can be a difficult call. Do you determine the need for stitches based on the placement of the cut, the amount of blood, or how long your kid cries? Here are four signs the wound your child just received is in need of stitches.
Where the Injury Is
Doctors stitch up wounds for two main reasons: to reduce scarring and to help a wound close so it can heal. If your child receives a cut on their knee, elbow, or another bending area, they are not likely to receive stitches unless the wound is very deep. If the wound is on the face, however, such as the lip, cheek, chin, or forehead, stitches may be required to help the area heal with as little scarring as possible.
If you are unsure whether your child needs stitches or not, visit an urgent care facility. Medical experts can quickly determine whether stitches are needed for your child's situation and will cleanse the wound so it can heal.
How Deep the Wound Is
The skin is divided by many layers, so a cut your child has may appear deep but in reality be only one or two layers down. A wound that is superficial in nature will often not bleed for very long and will stop bleeding with slight pressure.
A deeper wound that is closer to muscle tissue or bone, however, will have more of a filet look with meat on both sides of the cut. You will also have difficulty stopping bleeding. If you suspect your child's cut is more than superficial, wrap the area with a clean, dry cloth and get them to urgent care right away for treatment.
How the Cut Is Shaped
The straighter a cut is, such as with a cut from a knife or skin sliced by a rock, the easier it is to stitch. Puncture or scrape wounds from branches, gravel, or other accidents can be harder to close up. Even if a wound is gaping and wide, if the cut is straight and even, a doctor will usually stitch it up.
How Much Debris You Find in the Wound
Whether your child has a small pebble or a sizable piece of glass stuck in their wound, debris stuck in a cut is usually a sign of a wound’s depth and seriousness. Do not remove any item from your child's cut on your own. Rather, wrap the wound with a clean, dry cloth and elevate the area to prevent further blood loss.
Then, get to an urgent care unit immediately. Medical professionals will use special tools and sanitizing agents to remove debris so they can inspect and repair the damage inside the wound.
When your child gets hurt and there is blood, you can be frightened over whether they need stitches or not. If a wound does not stop bleeding, or if your child feels faint, is nauseated, or is vomiting, call for emergency help right away or get to an urgent care clinic quickly.
Our team of medical experts can assist you with your child's ailments. Contact our medical team at Access Urgent Medical Care for an appointment or stop by for emergency care that cannot wait.