Infection – hand

  • Pain control

    Administer medications as required for pain (paracetamol and ibuprofen are available from pharmacies without prescription).


    Antibiotics are prescribed to help treat the infection. Take these as directed and seek medical attention if your child is not able to take the antibiotics.


    Keep the hand elevated in a sling while your child is awake. The sling can be taken off at night and the hand elevated on pillows. Keeping the hand still helps the body to fight the infection.

    Wound care

    You will be given instructions by your doctor regarding when to change the dressings.

    Medical attention

    Seek medical attention if your child has:

    • Increasing pain or pain not relieved by medication
    • Increasing swelling
    • Decreasing ability to move the hand
    • Persistent fever
    • General unwellness
    • Poor feeding/oral intake
    • Side effects from the antibiotics such as bad diarrhoea, vomiting, rash
    • Worsening wound discharge


    Your follow-up appointment will be at one of the following:

    • Plastic Surgery Outpatients (Registrar Clinic), Blue Desk, Ground Floor, The Royal Children's Hospital (morning appointment)
    • Consultant Clinic 
    • Consultant Private Rooms 
    • Local doctor

    If you are unable to keep your appointment please call to reschedule.


    Plastic & Maxillofacial Surgery Office - 9345 5391
    Outpatient appointments - 9345 6180
    Plastic Surgery Resident or Registrar - via switchboard on 9345 5522

    Developed by The Royal Children's Hospital Speech Pathology and Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery departments. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.

    Reviewed November 2015.

    Kids Health Info is supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit


This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.