My Child Got a Cut

Does He Need a Tetanus Shot?

 

Your child may need a tetanus shot update if he or she gets a cut or open wound. Check your child’s vaccination records to know when he or she last received a tetanus shot and follow these guidelines:

  • For dirty cuts and scrapes: if your child has been vaccinated and the last tetanus shot was given more than 5 years ago, he/she may need a booster.
  • For clean cuts: if your child is fully vaccinated and the last tetanus shot was given more than 10 years ago, he/she may need a booster.
  • If your child has not been vaccinated for tetanus at all, he/she may not only need to get a tetanus shot, but also tetanus immunoglobulin to help provide immediate protection against tetanus, which is a potentially life-threatening disease.

At After Hours Pediatrics Urgent Care, tetanus booster shots are available for patients with new wounds. There is no advantage to your child getting a tetanus booster if they are up to date with their shots and don’t meet the guidelines above. Our providers will advise of whether a booster is recommended.

 

You generally have about three days to get a tetanus booster shot, so you may choose to get one for your child at your primary care pediatrician’s office, especially if you’re not sure of your child’s shot status. If your child has not been vaccinated against tetanus, you may be sent to the closest appropriate Emergency Department to get tetanus immunoglobulin in addition to the regular tetanus shot.

 

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