Your son slips and falls at home, hitting his head on the table. Your daughter cuts a gash in her leg at soccer practice. These are difficult scenarios for parents to handle. How do you know who to call and where to take your child for urgent care? Fortunately, those questions have an answer. At BHPSG, we are totally dedicated to your child’s health and well-being, ensuring that they get the care they need right away. We offer immediate repair of lacerations, emergency stitches, and effective scar prevention techniques for sudden, unexpected injuries. You never have to worry when BHPSG is nearby.
What is Urgent Care?
If your child is injured, your first instinct may be to take them to the emergency room. But this is sometimes not the best choice. Unless your child’s injury is directly life-threatening, they may not require the comprehensive and expensive care of an emergency room. You will probably face hours-long wait times, and the longer your child’s injury remains untreated, the greater the potential for scar formation.
Instead, consider taking your child to BHPSG’s StitchMD facility. Urgent Care is a unique branch of medicine whose goal is to treat any patient of any age with any complaint. With BHPSG’s StitchMD service, you can walk in with a simple injury and get it treated right away with no hassle. Be aware that if your child has suffered a more serious injury such as a broken bone, or if they need continuous observation, such as after a concussion, we will need to transfer them to a hospital emergency department.
Does your child have a long cut or gash? That wound may look nasty, but with our expertise in suturing techniques and tissue adhesives, we’ll have them fixed up in no time.
Sutures are the most common, time-tested method of repairing wounds. A suture is a thread or strand used to literally “sew up” a wound. When the thread is pulled tight, the wound is held in place. Sutures allow tissue to remain in direct contact, preventing bleeding and promoting skin regeneration.
Tissue adhesives are a newer option. Though initially used only in emergency rooms, they are becoming increasingly embraced in broad clinical use. A tissue adhesive is a gel or glue applied to the outside of the wound, fulfilling the same function as a suture. This approach has several advantages: no risk of injury from the needles used to apply the sutures, and no need to remove the sutures later. The use of tissue adhesives is for superficial wounds only, or wounds that do not require deeper sutures.
Repairing a laceration takes only a few minutes. Afterwards, your child will be instructed to wear a protective dressing to keep the wound clean and dry for 24 hours. Antibiotic ointments can also be prescribed to prevent infection.
Though tissue adhesives are gaining popularity, stitches are the preferred method for closing deeper lacerations. The terms “suture” and “stitches” are very similar: a suture is the actual material used to close a wound, while “stitching” refers to the process of applying the sutures. Sutures come in two types:
- Absorbable sutures are absorbed by the body over time. They do not require removal, and they tend to be used for smaller children, who will likely not tolerate suture elimination.
- Nonabsorbable sutures are made of silk, nylon, or prolene. Though they will need to be removed, their durability makes them the preferred option for more serious wounds. Nonabsorbable sutures are generally reserved for older children and adults.
Many parents worry how to help kids cope with emergency stitches. Sudden injury can be traumatic for a child, especially if this is their first serious cut or laceration. The best approach is to remain calm, bring your child to BHPSG, and stay physically and emotionally present throughout the treatment and healing process. Your child will look to you as an example, so stay calm and give them the love and attention they need.
Though scars are tough to avoid, they are an essential part of the healing process. Children are better than adults at healing scars, but the likelihood of scar formation depends on the depth of the cut and its location. Also, some people are more prone to scarring than others. Fortunately, there are some simple tips you and your child can follow to promote healing and prevent scarring:
- Clean the wound regularly as soon as your surgeon permits you. Just washing with soap and water is usually enough.
- Keep the wound moist with antibiotic ointment. This prevents the formation of scabs, which lengthen the healing process.
- Keep the wound covered with a bandage or gauze pad and change it daily.
- Apply sunscreen to the scar daily once your surgeon instructs you to do so. Excess sun exposure may make scars more visible and discolored. Make sure the sunscreen does not have harsh chemicals that may actually make scars more visible.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions in caring for your child’s stitches. Make sure to have them removed on time. Stitches that are left in too long may cause additional scarring.
- Our StitchMD physicians will instruct you on post-operative care specifically for the wound in question, offering silicone gels and dressings, scar massage, and other helpful information to achieve the best possible results.
With diligent care, you can prevent or minimize scar formation on even your child’s most visible wounds. All it takes is perseverance and daily routine.
BHPSG is here to help if your child needs emergency stitches. Bring your child to our StitchMD facility, and we will treat their injury with the compassion and good humor that kids love.
Great experience with doctors and staff at Stitch MD. My eight year old son had a fairly deep cut on his forehead after a pool accident so we knew a plastic surgeon would be a better choice than urgent care. Dr. Payman Danielpour had great bedside manners with my son and really seemed to care.John K.August, 2017
My daughter had a wide cut under her lip from a fall. The ER used glue, but it didn't look like it was going to heal well. I called Stitch MD after hours and they saw my daughter right away. They took out the glue, did 3 stitches, and I couldn't be happier!Amy A.June, 2015