An unexpected injury can cause an open wound that needs sutures. It’s always best to schedule an evaluation at Oak Park Pediatrics for any open wound, so the pediatricians can properly clean it and determine if sutures are necessary. At their office near Agoura Hills, California, Oak Park Pediatrics offers on-site suture services and wound evaluations for your convenience. If your child suffers a serious wound, head injury, or if a bone is protruding through the skin, call 911 or seek immediate treatment at a local emergency room.
Your Oak Park Pediatrics provider can give you specific information about caring for your child’s wound and sutures.
In general, you should keep the area clean and free of debris. To prevent infection, most wounds should be covered with an antibiotic ointment and a nonadhesive dressing immediately after laceration repair. A simple Band-Aid will suffice for many small lacerations. The dressing should be left in place for 24 hours, after which time most wounds can be opened to air. After closure with sutures, your child may be allowed to shower or wash the wound with mild soap and water. If your child has had fewer than three doses of the tetanus vaccination or has had more than three doses but the last dose was given over five years ago, your child may need a tetanus vaccination.
In general, healthy patients with minor wounds who undergo laceration repair with sutures are not prescribed prophylactic antibiotics. However, if your child had a laceration from a bite wound (e.g., animal and human bite), antibiotics may decrease their risk of infection, and antibiotics will likely be recommended.
The length of time your child needs to have sutures depends on the severity of the injury and its location. During your appointment, your Oak Park Pediatrics doctor can discuss more specifically how long you can expect the sutures to stay in. In general:
In general, most clean wounds do not need to be seen by a physician until suture removal, unless signs of infection develop. Larger, contaminated wounds will likely need to be evaluated sooner, often in 48-72 hours.