A wound is an injury that damages body tissue's external and internal surfaces. Skin is susceptible to cuts and lacerations, affecting its various layers, muscles, and nerves.
Unsupervised children often suffer such injuries through play, sports, or at-home accidents while using sharp objects. Injuries can happen anytime, and seeking medical attention promptly to avoid further complications is essential to prevent infections, extensive scarring, or persistent pain.
Children can get wounds when using sharp tools like scissors or knives without proper adult supervision. Their wounds may range from minor cuts to deep lacerations.
- Incised wounds are straight cuts into the skin, often caused by knives or scissors.
- Puncture wounds are caused by sharp tools like nails or needles.
- Avulsion wounds are caused by heavy machinery and involve the tearing of skin and tissue.
- Lacerations are irregular cuts caused by objects with a serrated edge.
If your child is wounded by a sharp object, it is crucial to stop the bleeding and avoid an infection. This can be achieved by trying the following:
- Clean your hands with hand sanitizer to avoid contaminating the wound.
- Use a clean, dry cloth to apply pressure directly into the wound.
- Elevate the arm or leg above heart level while applying pressure to slow blood flow.
- Rinse the wound with clean water to reduce the risk of infection. Any other substances may irritate the skin and prevent the wound from healing properly.
In case you notice any of the following signs, it is important to keep the wound clean and visit your child’s doctor within 24 hours:
- Bleeding that does not stop
- A noticeably deep wound
- The wound is over a knee, wrist, knuckle, or other joints
- The wound doesn’t seem to be clean even after rinsing with water
- Your child isn’t up to date with tetanus vaccination
- The wound starts gaping
Call 911 immediately if you see blood spurting uncontrollably from the wound since this may be a sign of a damaged artery and needs professional emergency care.
When you arrive at our clinic, we will thoroughly evaluate your child’s wound and overall health state. If their wound has no signs of infection, your provider will proceed to stitch the edges of the wound together with a staple, tape, or thread.
These stitches will be removed after about a week or two, allowing time for the upper and lower layers of the skin to heal.
If there is a chance the wound is contaminated, the wound will be cleaned before any stitches are placed. This ensures no bacteria are trapped under the skin to avoid infections.
As the skin continues to heal, it is essential to take proper at-home care to prevent infections and minimize scarring.
Some useful tips to keep the wound clean and infection-free include the following:
- Keep the wound covered with a clean dressing until you stop noticing fluid drainage. Try asking your child’s doctor about the correct way to change bandages. Frequency and instructions may vary depending on the extent and depth of the wound.
- Wait two to four days after the wound is closed before showering.
- Avoid soaking the wound in the bathtub or swimming pool, as this could increase the risk of infection.
- Keep pets away from your child during recovery.
- Avoid scratching or picking the wound area.
- Offer your child nutrient and vitamin-rich food, including fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
- Encourage your child to drink lots of water and consume high-fiber foods to encourage healing.
Wounds may not take much time to heal; however, scars could take a bit longer to disappear. To deal with scarring, your doctor may suggest massaging the area with lotions or petroleum jelly to encourage collagen production in your child’s skin.
Injuries are common during sports or physical accidents at school and home. Although it is impossible to predict them, there are safety measures you can take to prevent your child from suffering a cut or laceration, including the following:
- Regularly inspect your child’s surroundings, like bedroom, playing area, and kitchen, to identify potential hazards.
- If your child plays sports, make sure they wear the appropriate equipment.
- Don’t allow young children to use scissors or kitchen equipment without adult supervision.