Parenting Tips – Does My Child Need Stitches?

Most children have had at least one accident, if not more. Whether it’s a scrape, cut, or just a bruise, how do I know if it requires stitches?

Here Are Some Ways to Tell If Your Child Needs Stitches

  • If after applying pressure for at least five minutes and the bleeding hasn’t stopped, it may need stitches
  • If the laceration is more than ½” deep or longer
  • If the cut is close to the eye
  • If the injury is on the face or neck and is longer than ¼”
  • If it is gaping open
  • If there is something sticking out of it such as glass or other debris
  • If blood is spurting from the wound

If blood is spurting from the wound, it may indicate a nick to an artery. This will require significant pressure and then a trip to the nearest ER.

Should I Call The Pediatrician?

If you are questioning the wound at all, call your pediatrician. Some physicians are now offering Telehealth and can view images you provide to them, and they can advise you by photos only of what to do. Even if it is determined the wound doesn’t need stitches, it may still need medical attention if:

  • If the injury was made by a rusty or metal object
  • If there are signs of infection, such as swelling or pus draining from the wound
  • If the injury was made by an animal
  • If there aren’t any improvements after 10 days
  • If there is severe pain after a few hours

Wounds that are made by rusty or metal objects may require a tetanus shot. It is important that the shot is given within 2-3 days after this type of injury and your pediatrician will determine this. It is always better to seek the advice of your pediatrician if you have any doubts whatsoever.

Contact Us (859-525-8181) if you have any questions!


About Pediatrics of Florence

We believe that children are more than just “little adults.” They have unique personalities, challenges, and life circumstances and we have made every effort to make our offices and care as “kid friendly” as possible. We have an aquatic theme in the waiting rooms (separated for sick and well children) as well as themed examination rooms. All of our physicians are Board Certified Pediatricians and members of the American Academy of Pediatrics and our nurse practitioners are all licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and are available to see both well and sick children.
>> Learn More About Pediatrics of Florence