Wounds and abrasions in children

The aim of wound care is to reduce pain, prevent wound infection, promote healing and minimise scar formation. A successful treatment strategy consists of reducing the child’s fear, optimal pain relief and a careful inspection of the wound. Timely and adequate analgesic medication, as well as stopping bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a clean dressing for 5–10 minutes, will prepare the child for the wound care procedure. It is preferable to close the wound painlessly with tissue adhesive or wound-closure strips; in small wounds the results are as good as those achieved with suturing. Surgical debridement is required for badly contaminated lacerations. If the application of pressure to the wound for 5–10 minutes does not stop bleeding, ligation of the bleeding vessel is likely to be needed. Antimicrobials are only rarely indicated in fresh wounds, but the patient’s cover against tetanus must always be verified if the wound is contaminated.