When Should I Take My Child to the ER for Cuts?

Scrapes and bruises are a daily occurrence for children. So how do you know whether or not your child’s latest playground cut needs medical attention? Consider the following advice to determine if immediate medical attention is warranted.

If Your Child Has a Cut, Try These Steps First

  • Rinse the cut with tap water and apply pressure for 10-15 minutes to stop the bleeding. If bleeding does not subside, visit the ER.
  • Measure the laceration. If a cut that is not on your child’s face is less than 1 mm deep and less than 1 cm long, urgent care is not necessary.

If the Laceration is Severe, Emergency Care May Be Necessary

  • Visit your pediatrician’s office or the ER if the cut is greater than 1 mm deep and 1 cm long. Lacerations such as this may require stitches or wound adhesive.
  • If bleeding does not stop after you have applied pressure for 10-15 minutes, seek emergency care to make sure the bleeding is not indicative of a more serious problem.
  • If the cut is on your child’s face, emergency care may be necessary. In most cases, it is best that a facial cut is closed with stitches or wound adhesive.
  • If your child's immunizations are not up to date, call your pediatrician to schedule a tetanus shot.

The Medical Center of Aurora offers 3 ER locations:

All locations are open 24/7 and are staffed by board-certified emergency physicians and experienced nurses. Please see the map below for locations, addresses, and phone numbers.

Learn more about our pediatric services