Stitches and Glue care
When your child has a cut they may require glue (Dermabond) or stitches, depending on the type of cut they have.
Glue is used on wounds that are not very deep (superficial) and keeps the edges of the skin together. Glue which is easily applied by a Doctor or Nurse will dry fast.
Care of the wound after glue
- It is important to keep the wound dry. No soaking in the bath, or swimming until the wound has healed completely. Pat the wound dry with a towel after your child has had a shower.
- Avoid rubbing, scratching or picking at the glue or the wound.
- Steri-Strips are sometimes applied over the glue. Allow these to fall off on their own. Encourage your child not to pick at the strip, as this may open the wound up.
- It may take up to 3 weeks before the glue comes off your child’s wound.
- Do not use any creams or ointments over the glue or dressing. This may take the glue and the dressing off.
- The glue dries clear so you can see the wound.
There are different types of stitches such as dissolvable and ones that need to be removed. You will be told which ones your child has.
Care of the wound after stitches
Your child should:
- Keep the wound dry for the first 24 hours, giving the wound time to come together so that the healing can begin.
- Avoid picking the scabs or dressings. When the wound has healed the dressing will come away and the scab will fall off on its own.
- Avoid soaking in the bath, or getting the wound wet.
- Avoid swimming until after the stitches have been removed and the wound is healed.
The following should also be noted:
- If the stitches come out or the wound opens up, you need to see your doctor or Emergency Department.
- Dissolvable stitches do not need to be removed; they will disappear on their own and can take approximately two weeks, sometimes longer.
- If your child has stitches that need to be removed you can see your local doctor usually between 5-10 days, depending on where the wound is. You will be given instructions before you leave hospital.
After your child’s wound has been stitched or glued, it may initially be sore and red. This will ease in a few days as the wound begins to heal. Your child’s wound will leave a scar, starting out as purple and red in colour and fading to pink and white over time. Simple pain relief such as paracetamol can be given if your child has pain.
Things to look out for
- Red or swollen area around the wound may indicate infection.
- Your child is feeling generally unwell or has a temperature.
- The stitches come loose or the glue opens up.
- The wound is bleeding or has a yellow/green discharge (this can be signs of infection).
- Smelly odour.
If your child develops any of these signs see your local doctor. Also see Wound Infection.
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