Your Care Instructions
A cut on your child's hand can be on the fingers, the thumb, or the front or back of the hand. Sometimes a cut can injure the tendons, blood vessels, or nerves of your child's hand.
The doctor used stitches to close the cut. Using stitches also helps the cut heal and reduces scarring. The doctor may have given your child a splint to help prevent moving the hand, fingers, or thumb.
If the cut went deep and through the skin, the doctor may have put in two layers of stitches. The deeper layer brings the deep part of the cut together. These stitches will dissolve and don't need to be removed. The stitches in the upper layer are the ones you see on the cut.
Your child will probably have a bandage.
Your child will need to have the stitches removed, usually in 7 to 14 days. The doctor may suggest that your child see a hand specialist if the cut is very deep or if your child has trouble moving the fingers or has less feeling in the hand.
The doctor has checked your child carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
How can you care for your child at home?
- Keep the cut dry for the first 24 to 48 hours. After this, your child can shower if your doctor okays it. Pat the cut dry.
- Don't let your child soak the cut, such as in a bathtub or kiddie pool. Your doctor will tell you when it's safe to get the cut wet.
- If your doctor told you how to care for your child's cut, follow your doctor's instructions. If you did not get instructions, follow this general advice:
- After the first 24 to 48 hours, wash around the cut with clean water 2 times a day. Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing.
- You may cover the cut with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a nonstick bandage.
- Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.
- Prop up the sore hand on a pillow anytime your child sits or lies down during the next 3 days. Try to keep it above the level of your child's heart. This will help reduce swelling.
- Help your child avoid any activity that could cause the cut to reopen.
- Do not remove the stitches on your own. Your doctor will tell you when to come back to have the stitches removed.
- Be safe with medicines. Give pain medicines exactly as directed.
- If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
- If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
When should you call for help?
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your child has new pain, or the pain gets worse.
- The skin near the cut is cold or pale or changes color.
- Your child has tingling, weakness, or numbness near the cut.
- The cut starts to bleed, and blood soaks through the bandage. Oozing small amounts of blood is normal.
- Your child has trouble moving the area of the hand near the cut.
- Your child has symptoms of infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around the cut.
- Red streaks leading from the cut.
- Pus draining from the cut.
- A fever.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- Your child does not get better as expected.
Where can you learn more?
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