Does My Child's Cut Need Stitches?


As a parent, it can be hard to know when a cut needs simple, at home care, or when more expert medical advice or treatment is necessary.


When a child might need stitches

  • Bleeding cannot be easily controlled
  • The cut seems deep or spreads apart easily
  • Wounds from bigger falls


When to seek medical help for a child

  • Cuts that are longer than 1/2 an inch

  • Cuts that go all the way through the skin

  • Injuries to the face or other cosmetically sensitive areas

  • Injuries caused by mammals (cats, dogs, other kids, etc)

  • Any cut in a child who is behind on their tetanus vaccine


One of the most important parts of wound care is preventing infection, so your provider will thoroughly wash the wound before using any of these techniques. Pain control (anesthesia) will depend on the injury.
— By - Laurel Murphy Hoffmann MD, MPH


At Pacific Crest Children's Urgent Care we have a variety of methods to deal with cuts that won't heal well on their own.  Depending on the wound, we may use some numbing medicine and/or some medicine called midazolam (Versed) sprayed in the nose to ease your child's anxiety.  We have special closure strips (steri-strips), glue, stitches (absorbable and non-absorbable), and staples at our disposal to take care of your child's wound in the best way possible.