advanced pediatrics logo



Lacerations are a common childhood experience, and knowing where to turn can make a stressful situation easier to manage. For many in and around Vienna, Virginia, the team of premier pediatric care specialists at Advanced Pediatrics is the provider of choice when the unexpected occurs, including lacerations. Walk-in and even drive-up visits are available, and online scheduling is also an option for less urgent care needs.  

Lacerations Q & A

What are lacerations?

A laceration is a tear, cut, or break in the skin. Virtually everyone experiences lacerations throughout their lifespan, some of which are more serious than others. 

Abrasions are a similar type of skin injury that occurs when the skin is rubbed to the point of damage. With an abrasion, some portion of the skin is scraped or worn away, while a laceration does not remove the skin. 

What are some ways kids experience lacerations?

Most lacerations occur as a result of some type of blunt-force trauma. Most commonly, a sharp object like a blade or a shard of glass enters the skin and underlying tissues. 

There are a multitude of ways kids can get lacerations. Childhood is filled with exploration and play, and for parents, it often feels like the world is filled with sharp objects just waiting to create lacerations. 

Kids can cut themselves when they encounter a knife, broken glass, or even a sharp edge on a toy or piece of furniture. They can experience a laceration while riding their bike, building a fort, or helping out around the house. 

You can take steps to reduce lacerations by limiting access to sharp household objects, but no degree of protection or childproofing can completely eliminate the risk of cuts. 

What should I do if my child gets a laceration?

The most important thing you can do is try to remain calm. Your child picks up on your stress levels and can easily become more frightened by your response. 

Minor lacerations that don’t penetrate deeply, aren’t bleeding heavily, and are short in length can often be handled at home. Thoroughly cleaning the area and applying a bandage might be all that’s needed for minor cuts. 

However, there are certain circumstances that should prompt a visit to Advanced Pediatrics for more in-depth treatment. If any of the following apply, a same-day visit is the right course of action:

  • Bleeding that seems heavy or doesn’t stop after 10 minutes of pressure
  • Cuts deeper or longer than ½ inch
  • Dirt or other debris embedded in the skin
  • Any lacerations on the face
  • Any lacerations caused by a human or animal bite
  • Puncture wounds or cuts caused by a rusty object
  • Excessively painful cuts

If you notice any swelling, redness, or drainage from a cut treated at home, come in for professional care. You can always call to check appointment availability, and online scheduling is available for less time-sensitive booking needs.