Dressing Change (Child)

Your child has been given a dressing (bandage) to cover a wound. This sheet explains how and when to change the bandage.

Home care

  • Leave the bandage in place for the first 24 hours. If the bandage becomes wet or dirty during this time, replace it.

  • After the first 24 hours, replace the bandage once a day or when it becomes wet or dirty.

  • Clean the wound once a day using the following steps:

    • Remove the bandage and gently wash the area with mild soap and water. Use a wet cotton swab to loosen and remove any blood or crust that forms on the wound.

    • Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment.

    • Apply a new bandage.

  • Your child may shower as usual after the first 24 hours, or as directed by their healthcare provider. If the bandage is on your child’s arm or leg, cover it with a plastic bag. Hold the bag closed with duct or package tape. Don't tape the bag to the skin.

  • Keep your child from taking tub baths or swimming until the bandage is removed and the wound healed. This may take several days to weeks.

When to get medical advice

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

  • Fever

  • Worsening redness, swelling, or discharge

  • Pain at the site of the wound

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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