Logo for: Pediatric Associates of Connecticut

Cuts & Bruises

When are sutures (stitches) or emergency care needed? If you are unsure, contact the doctor on-call. If you feel it is a true emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Wounds that are more than ½ inch long (¼ inch on face) usually need to be sutured. Any cut that is wide open, gaping or continues to bleed must be sutured. Cover with gauze and go to the St. Mary’s Emergency Room in Waterbury.

To treat a minor laceration:

  • Apply pressure for at least 10 minutes to stop bleeding.
  • Wash wound with soap and water (but not if you think it needs to be sutured).
  • Apply antibiotic ointment and band aid. Change 1 to 2 times per day until wound is completely scabbed over.
  • Call us if there are signs of infection (redness, pus, increasing tenderness).


Apply ice to area for 10-20 minutes at a time, several times per day. Call us if unable to bear weight on affected limb, unable to move limb, or in severe pain.

Bruises can sometimes last for several days or weeks.