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Squeaks got hurt playing outside and had to get stitches! Jessi explains what happens at the doctor's office and how stitches help us heal!

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Squeaks had a new experience today, and he wanted us to tell you all about it.

See the band-aid on his hand? That’s because he got a cut that needed stitches. [Squeaks squeaks] Right!

Four stitches. When someone gets stitches, that means the doctor used some thread to tie the two sides of the cut together. Maybe you or someone you know has gotten them before.

Lots of people have, because stitches are a very good way to fix a big cut. And Squeaks is totally fine now, right Squeaks? [Squeaks agrees] Right. If you’ve ever gotten a small cut like a papercut, you know that they can hurt, but all you have to do is tell a grownup, wash it off, and put a band-aid on.

After that, it usually heals within a day or two. But accidents happen, and sometimes people get a cut that goes farther into the skin than a papercut. If it’s a deep cut, they might need stitches to help the wound heal properly.

That’s what happened to Squeaks this morning. [Squeaks squeaks] Right, it happened while we were at the park. We were playing tag and Squeaks fell down and cut his hand on a rock The cut was big enough that I thought we should go to the doctor, so we put on a bandage in the meantime and pressed down on it to help stop the bleeding. When we got to the doctor, she said the cut needed a few stitches.

She explained that they would help keep the two sides of the cut close together so it would be easier for the body to heal it. Without the stitches to help keep it closed, it would take a lot longer for the bleeding to stop and there would be a much bigger piece of skin to regrow. Do you remember what else she said the stitches help with, Squeaks? [Squeaks squeaks] That's right!

Since the stitches keep the cut closed, they help keep germs away so it doesn't get infected. Then it was time for the doctor to start taking care of the cut. If you or someone you know ever has to get stitches, the doctor will probably do a lot of the same things as Squeaks’ doctor.

First, she washed off the cut to clean it and get rid of as many germs as possible before stitching it up. Then she gave Squeaks a very quick shot near the cut. The shot gave him some medicine to numb his skin so he wouldn't feel the stitches. [Squeaks interjects] He says the shot didn't really hurt either!

After that, she got out the needle and thread. You were a little worried about this at first, right Squeaks? [He nods] The thread is kind of like a band-aid, except instead of being sticky it goes into your skin to hold the cut closed. The only reason the doctor needs a needle is to to guide the thread through the skin and tie it into stitches. [Squeaks interjects again] He says that didn't hurt either!

That's because the doctor gave you the medicine to numb your skin first. Sometimes people feel a little pulling or pressure from the thread, but it doesn't hurt. How long do you think the stitches themselves took, Squeaks? [Squeaks answers] Sounds about right!

It only took a couple of minutes to do those four stitches. And that was it! Squeaks got his band-aid to help keep the stitches clean and protected, and we went home.

We'll have to go back in a couple of weeks to get them taken out, because once the cut is all healed up you don't need the thread anymore! They don't use a needle for that, though, and it's very simple and fast. They just cut the thread and the stitches fall right out!

There are also some kinds of stitches that don't need to be taken out because they dissolve by themselves, but not the kind Squeaks got. Now that we're home, maybe we'll do a project indoors so your hand can rest. What do you say, Squeaks?

Thanks for joining us if you want to keep learning and having fun with Squeaks and me, hit the red subscribe button and we’ll see you next time here at the fort.