Alright, ladies… Let’s hear it! How many times have your children had stitches?  Well, if your kids are anything like mine, you might have lost count. But the rise in popularity of glue (or liquid) stitches has made it hard to know when your child requires regular stitches versus glue stitches.

Do you know the guidelines for each and when to use them? Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way — and at the expense of my son’s sweet little forehead. 

My Glue Stitches Story

My middle child has scar after scar after scar on his precious forehead from numerous stitches.  I blame his unusually large toddler head that made him a bit top heavy for the first few incidents.  The last trip for stitches came from an unfortunate run in with the metal pole on a trampoline. It was a good one — deep and ugly.  But this seasoned mom didn’t freak, I’d seen it all before.

A quick trip to the ER with a good cleaning, a large squirt of glue stitches and a bandage placed over the wound and we were home within a few hours.  Life resumed as normal.  I didn’t give much thought to the wound until a few days later when the bandage fell off and I could clearly see the wound was still gaped open.

We headed to the urgent care and the doctor examined the wound with some “hmm” and “oh” sounds. What the doctor told me next completely took me by surprise…

“He should NOT have had glue stitches.”

I wasn’t sure what he meant. We have used glue stitches on several occasions and they work wonders. They are easy and cause little pain. But after further conversation, I learned that there is a time and place for glue. Apparently my son’s wound was NOT a good option for glue because of how deep and large the wound was, as well as it being located on his forehead. I did not have the proper information to make a good decision about my son’s medical treatment at the time. 

So I asked, “When to glue and when not to?

Glue is Not Always the Best Option. Some Wounds Require Traditional Stitches.

I found out that although glue stitches are easy, fast and in most cases work just as well as traditional stitches, there are specific times they are not the best option — especially if you are hoping there will be little to no scarring.

Below are the most common 6 types of wounds where it might require traditional stitches over glue stitches, according to this article on Children’s MD:

  1. Wounds in areas of high skin tension such as the arm, leg or forehead.
  2. Wounds in areas that stretch, move, or change such as over joints.
  3. Wounds within a hairline such as on the scalp or through an eyebrow.
  4. Wounds that have a high risk of infection such as animal bites.
  5. Wounds that are particularly deep or involve damage to underlying muscle or tendons.
  6. Wounds to mucous membranes, lips, and genitalia.

Knowledge Is Power

Being equipped with the correct information is a powerful tool for us moms. Now I know what to ask the next time we get stitches. Because let’s face it, there WILL be another time! And this time, I will be more informed and knowledgeable about when to use glue stitches and when not to.

glue stitches

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Cascia was born and raised in the Arizona heat. While receiving her Pre-Med degree at HIU in California, a blonde, surfing, skateboarding boy stole her heart. Although they both dream of having their toes in the salty California waters; they now call Colorado home with their 3 children (9, 6, 5) and their adorable cat named Turtle. They are busy enjoying all the new adventures and crazy weather patterns that Colorado Springs has to offer. Her family can often be found hiking (they just conquered the Crags!!), searching for any type of water to play in, enjoying a new farmer's market or just hanging in their backyard, tending to their garden. After 3 years as a SAHM, she is ready to get back out into the education world. Playing guitar, writing songs, and reading any and every parenting book helps keep her sane and happy! A good cup of coffee or a bubbly La Croix can usually be found in her hand! She is trying to live by the motto "I'd rather recover from failure than live with regret.