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Discharge Instructions for Cellulitis (Pediatric)

Your child was diagnosed with cellulitis. This is an infection that occurs at the deepest layer of the skin. Cellulitis is caused by bacteria, which can get into the body through broken skin, such as a cut, scratch, sore, animal bite, or rash that has causes a break in the skin. Your child was treated in the hospital with IV antibiotics. Below are instructions for caring for your child at home.

Home Care

  • Elevate your child’s wound if possible. This will help keep the swelling down.

  • Wash your hands before and after touching any cuts, scratches, or bandages to prevent infections.

  • Keep the infected area clean.

  • Apply clean bandages or gauze dressings as directed by your child’s doctor.

  • Be sure your child finishes all the medication that was prescribed. If your child doesn’t finish the medication, the infection may return. Not finishing the medication can also make any future infections harder to treat.

  • Give your child a pain reliever as directed by your doctor. Ask your doctor whether an over-the-counter pain reliever is appropriate. Also ask for instructions on the right dose for your child's age and weight.

  • If your child feels warm or seems feverish, measure your child's temperature. Be sure to tell your child's doctor exactly where you measured the temperature (oral, rectal, or under the arm).


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.


When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Vomiting

  • Fever above 101.4°F  (38.5°C) or shaking chills

  • Swelling in the infected area

  • Pain or redness that gets worse in or around the infected area

  • Discharge or pus draining from the area

  • Difficulty or pain when moving the joints above or below the infected area


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