Wounds

​All skin wounds – large and small – should be cleaned immediately by rinsing the wound under lukewarm tap water. Small, superficial wounds that only bleed for a short time can be treated at home. Shower the wound under running water a couple of times a day and cover it with a clean gauze pad (available in pharmacies). In children, wounds are always painful. You can alleviate the pain by giving your child antipyretics or analgesics, at least on the first day. Remember to follow the instructions on the package leaflet.

When to seek medical assistance

Seek medical assistance if the wound is large, penetrates several layers of the skin or the bleeding doesn't stop. In such cases, the wound needs to be closed with tissue adhesives or sutures. A wound should be closed within six hours of the injury. If a wound remains open for a longer time, it is likely to become infected. If the child has been vaccinated at school or child health clinic according to the national vaccination programme, a tetanus booster shot is not necessary.

Follow-up

Monitor the wound for the following signs:

  • the wound starts bleeding heavily and the blood is bright red
  • the skin around the wound area is red and hot
  • drainage becomes purulent (normal drainage is tissue fluid which is bright and odourless and mixed with blood)
  • the child develops a fever
  • the wound becomes increasingly painful after a couple of days (a throbbing pain)

 

If you notice these signs in your child, the wound may be infected and needs to be treated with antibiotics. Contact the child's local health center.

Wounds closed with sutures, home care instructions

Keep the wound area clean.

  • Remove the gauze pads applied on top of the adhesive tape the following day.
  • The wound is covered by adhesive tape which should be left in place until the sutures are removed.
  • If old blood is detected under the adhesive tape, remove the tape, clean the wound and cover the sutures with a clean adhesive tape or fresh gauze.

 

The patient may take a shower. Dry carefully by dabbing the wound area. Avoid sauna, swimming and bathing until the sutures have been removed.

Seek medical assistance if you notice any of the following signs:

  • continuous bleeding or other drainage
  • increasing pain
  • fever


Removal of sutures

 

A health care nurse will remove the sutures according to your physician's instructions at your local health center.