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How to Treat a Minor Cut

If a cut is not deep or long, you can handle it at home with these simple steps.

Cuts and kids seem to go together, especially in the summer.

Not every cut requires stitches, but they do need more than a kiss to make them better.

If it is more than three-quarters of an inch long or a quarter-inch deep, get immediate medical attention, says the American Academy of Dermatology.

For minor cuts, here's what they say to do:

1. Wash your hands with soap and water

2. Then wash the cut

Use cool or lukewarm water and mild soap to remove dirt.

3. Stop the bleeding

Apply pressure using a clean washcloth or gauze for a couple minutes or until the bleeding stops

4. Use petroleum jelly

This promotes healing. Apply it continuously until it heals. Use a tube instead of a jar to keep dirt and bacteria spreading. The AAD suggests not using topical antibiotics.

5. Cover it with a bandage

Change it daily and keep it covered until it heals.

6. Make sure your tetanus shot is up to date

Most minor cuts heal in a week, the AAD says, but if you see any signs of infection, such as pus or increased redness, swelling or pain, call your doctor.

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