Most small cuts do not present any danger. Larger wounds, particularly those
where an artery has been damaged, can cause severe bleeding and result in
falling blood pressure and shock. Depending on the type of wound and its
location, there can be damage to tendons and nerves. Bleeding from large cuts
may require immediate medical treatment.
For Minor Bleeding From a Small Cut or Abrasion
Rinse the wound thoroughly with water to clean out dirt and debris.
Wash the wound with a mild soap and rinse thoroughly. Avoid antiseptic
solutions, which don't provide any additional protection.
Cover the wound with a sterile adhesive bandage or sterile gauze and
Examine the wound daily. If the bandage gets wet, remove it and apply a
new one. After the wound forms a scab, a bandage is no longer necessary.
Call your child's doctor if the wound is red, swollen, tender, warm, or
beginning to drain.
For Bleeding From a Large Cut or Laceration
the wound thoroughly with water. This will allow you to see the wound clearly
and assess its size.
Place a piece of sterile gauze or a clean cloth over the entire wound. If
available, use clean latex or rubber gloves to protect yourself from exposure
to blood. If you can, raise the bleeding body part above the level of your
child's heart. Do not apply a tourniquet.
Using the palm of your hand on the gauze or cloth, apply direct pressure
to the wound for 5 minutes. (During the 5 minutes, do not stop to check the
wound or disturb any blood clots that may form on the gauze.)
If blood soaks through the gauze, do not remove it. Apply another gauze
pad on top and continue applying pressure.
Call your child's doctor for all large cuts or lacerations, or if:
you are unable to stop the bleeding after 5 minutes of pressure, or if
the wound begins bleeding again. (Continue applying pressure.)
you are unable to clean out dirt and debris thoroughly.
the wound is on your child's face or neck.
there is something stuck in the wound.
the cut is more than 1/2
inch long or appears to be deep. Large or deep wounds can result in nerve
damage. If you have any doubt about whether stitches are needed, phone your