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Ask the Pediatrician

Dr. Jennifer Shu and her team of pediatricians answer your health questions.

Dr. Jennifer Shu

Question & Answer

Question

My son cut his hand, but I don’t know if he needs stitches. What should I do?

Answer

​Have the following wounds evaluated by a medical provider as soon as possible: 

  • A wound that will not stay closed by itself 
  • A wound that needs 5 minutes of constant direct pressure to stop the bleeding 
  • A cut longer than one-half inch

Some wounds may need stitches, tape, or some other method to help healing. These need to be applied as soon as possible—usually within 6 hours of the injury. Prompt and proper cleaning, followed by closing of an open wound, reduces the risk of infection. This also helps the wound heal faster and reduces the chance of scarring.

Additional Resources:

Source: First Aid for Families (PedFACTs) (Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics)