Stitches or Staple Removal (Child)

Your child had a wound that was closed with stitches (sutures) or staples. The wound has healed well enough that the stitches or staples can be removed. The wound will continue to heal for the next few months.

At this time, there is no sign of an infection. 

Home care

  • If your child has pain, you can give  them pain medicine as advised by your child’s healthcare provider. Don’t give your child any other medicine without first asking the provider.

  • Keep your child’s wound clean and protected by covering it with a bandage for the next week or so. 

  • Wash your hands with soap and clean, running water before and after caring for your child. This helps prevent infection.

  • Clean the wound gently with soap and clean, running water daily or as directed by your child’s healthcare provider. Don't use iodine, alcohol, or other cleansers on the wound. Gently pat it dry. Cover it with a new bandage, if needed. Don't re-use bandages.

  • If the area gets wet, gently pat it dry with a clean cloth. Replace the wet bandage with a dry one.

  • Check the wound daily for signs of infection. (These are listed under "When to seek medical advice" below.)

  • Make sure your child doesn't pick at the wound. A baby may need to wear scratch mittens.

  • Your child can now bathe or shower as usual. Don’t let your child swim until the wound is fully healed. 

Follow-up care

Follow up with your child’s healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to get medical advice

Call your child's healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Wound reopens or bleeds

  • Signs of an infection, such as:

    • Increasing redness or swelling around the wound

    • Increased warmth from the wound

    • Worsening pain

    • Red streaking lines away from the wound

    • Fluid draining from the wound

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your child's provider

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