Cuts and Scratches

If cuts are deep or gaping, they may need stiches.  Also if cuts are longer than ½ inch, or ¼ inch on the face, they may need stiches.

The reason to have a wound sutured (stitched), instead of just letting it heal without stitches, is that a sutured wound tends to heal with a neater scar.  Cuts in areas where appearance is unimportant, such as the scalp, do not need to be sutured unless the cut is large or gaping.  Cuts should be stitched within 8 hours of the injury. 


  • For minor cuts and scrapes, wash the wound vigorously for 5 minutes with soap and water.  If the wound is in an area which will probably get dirty, cover it with a Band-Aid for the first few days.  Antibiotic ointments are not generally      necessary if the wound has been carefully washed. 
  • For deep wounds, apply pressure with a clean cloth.



 During office hours if:

  • Your child has not had a Tetanus shot in more than five years. Most children will have had several tetanus shots (DTaP) during their first few years, including one at 4-5 years, and 11 years (Tdap)
  • The cut looks infected (yellow pus, spreading redness, red streaks)
  • Pain, redness or swelling increase after 48 hour


Immediately if:

  • Bleeding won’t stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
  • The cut is split apart or deep
  • You are unable to clean the wound adequately

Call or Visit

  • phone: (616) 243-9515

  • FAX: (616) 243-1815

  • after hours: (616) 776-7401

  • or contact us via the Patient Portal

  • Alger Pediatrics
    733 Alger St. SE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49507