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Puncture Wounds in Children


A puncture wound

is a hole in your child's skin made by a sharp, pointed object. The area may be bruised or swollen. Your child may have bleeding, pain, or trouble moving the affected area.

Puncture Wound

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child has severe pain.
  • Your child has numbness or tingling in the area of his or her wound.
  • Your child's wound starts bleeding and does not stop, even after you apply pressure.

Call your child's doctor if:

  • Your child has new drainage or a bad odor coming from the wound.
  • Your child has a fever or chills.
  • Your child has increased swelling, redness, or pain.
  • Your child has red streaks on his or her skin coming from the wound.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.


Your child may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him or her. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Antibiotics help prevent a bacterial infection.
  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for your child's wound as directed:

Keep your child's wound clean and dry. When he or she is allowed to bathe, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your child's bandages when they get wet or dirty.

Elevate your child's injured area

above the level of his or her heart, if possible, as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop the injured area on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.

Follow up with your child's doctor in 2 to 3 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.