Small cuts and scrapes are a common part of childhood. Most cuts and scrapes are minor injuries that can be treated at home. The cut or scrap may bleed or leak a small amount of fluid.
To take care of cuts and scrapes:
Calm your child and let them know you can help.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with clean, running water and soap before caring for the cut or scrape.
Apply pressure with a clean cloth or bandage for several minutes to stop bleeding. For a lot of bleeding, press on the wound firmly for 10 to 15 minutes with a clean cloth. Don't stop to look at the cut. If the cloth becomes soaked with blood, put a new cloth on top of the old cloth. Don't lift the first cloth. If the bleeding doesn't stop after this time, call your healthcare provider
Wash the cut area well with soap and water. Don't scrub the wound. Remove any dirt particles from the area. Let the water from the faucet run over it for several minutes. A dirty cut or scrape that is not fully cleaned can cause scarring or infection.
Apply an antiseptic lotion or cream, or petroleum jelly.
Cover the area with an adhesive bandage or gauze pad if the area is on the hands or feet, or if it's likely to leak onto clothing. Change the dressing often.
Check the area each day and keep it clean and dry.
Don't blow on the cut or scrape. This can cause germs to grow.
Call your child's healthcare provider for cuts and scrapes that are:
Bleeding heavily and don't stop bleeding after 10 to 15 minutes of direct pressure
Deep or longer than 1/2 inch
Close to the eye
Large and on the face
Caused by a puncture wound, or dirty or rusty object
Embedded with debris, such as dirt, stones, or gravel
Ragged or have separated edges
Caused by an animal or human bite
Showing signs of infection, such as increased warmth, redness, swelling, or fluid leaking
Also call your child's healthcare provider if:
Your child has not had a tetanus shot within the past 5 years, or if you are unsure when your child's last tetanus shot was given
You are concerned about the wound or have any questions