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When to take your child to the er for cuts or injury

Get advice on when your child's scrapes or bruises need medical attention.

June 28, 2023

Scrapes and bruises are a daily occurrence for children. So how do you know if your child’s latest cut from the playground needs medical attention or not? Consider the following advice to determine if immediate medical attention is warranted.

If your child has a cut, try these steps first 

  • Clean out the cut with tap water and apply pressure for 10-15 minutes to stop the bleeding. If bleeding does not subside, visit the pediatric ER.
  • Measure the laceration. If a cut that is not on your child’s face, is less than 1 mm deep and less than 1 cm long, urgent care is not necessary.

If the laceration is severe, emergency care may be necessary 

  • Visit your pediatrician’s office or the pediatric ER if the cut is greater than 1 mm deep and 1 cm long. Lacerations such as this may require stitches or glue.
  • If the cut does not stop bleeding after you have applied pressure for 10-15 minutes, seek emergency care to make sure the bleeding is not indicative of a larger issue.
  • If the cut is on your child’s face, emergency care may be necessary. In most cases, it is best that a layer of broken skin on the face is glued or sewn.
  • If your child is not up to date on his or her immunizations, call your pediatrician to schedule a tetanus shot.

HealthONE has five pediatric emergency departments in the Denver metro area, so you are certain to find an ER that is close to home and able to treat your child’s injury. Our hospitals strive to beat the national average wait time, so you can get quick access to high-quality emergency medical care.

June 28, 2023
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at PSL, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at PSL
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