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If your child is bleeding, do you know what to do?

If your child suffers from a deep cut, do you know how to stop the bleeding? Are stitches needed? What about a tetanus shot? Doctors at Centra Care want you to know the answers as they saw a 44% increase in pediatric patients last week with deep wounds, also known as Lacerations.

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How do you know if the injury warrants stitches? Here are some things to look for:

1. Deep, gaping or jagged cuts
2. Cuts longer than 1 inch.
3. Cuts that continue to bleed
4. Cuts over a joint
5. Debris in wound

A doctor can determine if stitches are necessary. But you need to act quickly – a cut should be closed with stitches within 8-12 hours. You should also seek medical attention if the cut has any debris imbedded in it, such as glass, gravel or dirt.

Tetanus is a serious illness caused by tetanus bacteria that often enters through open wounds. So make sure your tetanus booster is up-to-date. The first round of tetanus shots are given in a series throughout infancy, followed by a booster between the ages of 4 – 6, and again at around age 11 or 12. Tetanus boosters are recommended every 10 years thereafter, so if it has been more than 10 years and you have an open wound, Centra Care will give a Tetanus booster.

Infection is a primary concern following a wound. A superficial wound can heal with home treatment. To avoid infection, clean the wound thoroughly by pouring clear water over it. Apply an antibacterial ointment and keep the area covered with a bandage; repeat these steps at least once a day. To stop any bleeding, apply constant pressure with a gauze pad or clean cloth.

Every Centra Care location provides stitches for adult and pediatric patients.


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