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What Every Parent Should Know About Stitches

Stitches are an ordinary part of life for most people. Nobody wants to be in a situation where they need stitches, but it’s very common to need them at one point in your life or another. Children in particular have a tendency to need stitches, as they tend to play a lot and be very active.

Knowing when stitches are necessary is an important skill for every parent to have. A good policy is that if a cut or ‘nick’ seems minor and isn’t bleeding much, and the child isn’t in much pain, it’s probably ok to follow your home treatment protocols, including: wash the wound with clean water, press the wound with a clean cloth or bandage, and apply a clean bandage regularly until the wound is well on its way to healing. But if there’s any doubt about whether professional medical attention is required, it’s better to err on the side of safety, and head for your nearest urgent care center.

It’s normal for children to be afraid of stitches

Actually, adults and children alike tend to cringe at the thought of getting stitches. It’s not pleasant to think about such injuries, or the way stitches are actually done. Fortunately though, stitches are routine and virtually painless in most cases. Your medical provider may apply a local anesthetic to make it easier to receive stitches, and the actual sensation is not as bothersome as it seems. Most people of any age find it better not to watch the stitches being done, and your nurse or doctor will be experienced in dealing with all kinds of kids and adults who have not been thrilled about receiving stitches.

The area should be watched closely for signs of infection

Any time there’s an open wound in the process of healing – even if that wound has been closed up with stitches – it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of infection. If the wound should become infected, it will be important to seek medical attention right away. Your urgent care center can certainly diagnose and treat an infected wound, so there’s no need to wait in line or set up an appointment. The only exception is if the wound seems badly infected and/or the patient is showing other systemic symptoms. Signs of infection can include redness and swelling around the wound, bleeding or weeping from the wound, warmth around the wound, a bad smell, fever, and of course pain.

Urgent care center for stitches

The only situation in which you should visit an emergency department is if a medical situation is potentially life threatening, or if you suspect that it may be life threatening. If you have a minor medical situation (like a laceration or cut that is not life treathening but needs medical attention), you don’t have to wait or make an appointment. Urgent care is a convenient, quick, and above all professional way to receive medical care for situations like this. Chances are, your health insurance is accepted at one or more urgent care centers in your general vicinity, and you may covered in a wide network of urgent care centers when you are on the road. It never hurts to be aware of your options for quality medical care!

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