Discharge Instructions for Cellulitis (Child)

Your child was diagnosed with cellulitis. This is an infection that occurs at the deepest layer of the skin. Cellulitis is caused by bacteria. Bacteria can get into the body through broken skin, such as a cut, scratch, sore, animal bite, or through a rash that 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 healthcare provider.

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

  • Give your child a pain reliever as directed by your healthcare provider. Ask 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 healthcare provider exactly where you measured the temperature (mouth, rectum, or under the arm).


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your child’s healthcare provider. 

When to call your child’s healthcare provider

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

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

  • Discharge or pus draining from the area

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your child's healthcare provider

  • Shaking chills

  • Pain or redness that gets worse in or around the infected area, especially if the area of redness gets larger

  • Swelling in the infected area

  • Vomiting