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If my child cuts themself, how do I know if they need stitches?

If your child's cut is gaping open or continuously bleeding, then your child will likely need stitches. In this video, Tanya Altmann, MD, pediatrician, discusses the different ways to treat your child's wounds.
Dr. Elif E. Oker, MD
Medical Toxicology
This is a tricky question. If you are unsure of what to do apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean gauze and call your pediatrician.
Here are some examples of cuts that should be seen by a doctor without delay:
  • A cut that is large and/or deep and/or dirty.
  • A cut that involves a broken bone or tendon injury. Sometimes you can see the bone or tendon. Other times the finger or limb looks abnormal or won't move.
  • Cuts that won't stop bleeding despite direct pressure. 
  • Cuts with bits of glass or other foreign objects in the wound. 
  • Cuts that involve the eyes, mouth and teeth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.