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My 5yo unvax'd daughter stepped on a rusty nail

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I would say it is a puncture wound.  We squeezed it to bleed it out.  Should we take her in?  Doesn't there have to be animal poop or something there for Tetanus to happen?  Thanks.

post #2 of 17

For that, I would take her in.  And not because of the rust.  Because it's a puncture wound.  But that's just me.  And my kids are unvaxed too.

post #3 of 17

I would take her in too. There only has to be tetanus in the soil or on the nail, which doesn't mean fresh animal poop. A puncture wound is nothing to mess around with. 

post #4 of 17

Was the nail inside or out?


I do not think I would bring in a child for a wound that bled really well, especially if no animals were around, but to each their own.  Tetanus is very rare (and more common in drug users, elderly, etc) but also very serious.


In any event, if you take her in, you want TIG - not a tetanus shot.


A tetanus shot will be of no use for this wound.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

A puncture wound is a nail going into the foot right?  It was outside by our driveway.  It was inside a couple of wks ago and we tore out our carpet and the nail ended up dropping on the ground.  I hate to go in because I know I will get the lecture on not vax'ing.  How long do I have to take her in?

post #6 of 17

I've no idea on the timing. Do you not have a doctor you trust at all? A puncture wound is a small but deep cut caused by something like a nail pushing into the skin. Splinters can also be puncture wounds for example. It's easier for bacteria and germs of any type to be pushed into a puncture wound, and it's hard to clean out well. Even if it bleeds, it doesn't always get everything out. I would go in, personally, even though my kids have had the tetanus shot... but I also have a doctor we love who wouldn't give me a hard time even if that was a vax we had skipped. And I do agree with KathyMuggle, there's an immunoglobin for it if she might have been exposed. I would worry about things other than tetanus too personally... though the doc might just say to come back if it looks red or shows signs of infection.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

We do have a family doctor who I trust but he isn't in on the weekend and I am not sure how long an appointment would take.  That is why I am wondering how long until she needs that shot.  I would have to go to emerg and wait hours and hours and then get lectured.

post #8 of 17

Ah, I see. Can you call or email your doctor? I don't know what the timing is at all, but I don't think it's ER worthy. 


Mayo clinic website says ER if you have symptoms of tetanus or it's a particularly bad injury, but just family doctor when possible if you're "unsure of vaccination status," so I'd probably not do the ER for it, personally. I would call the doc and do an appt. next week though.

Edited by LitMom - 9/8/12 at 5:19pm
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

I think that is what I am going to do.  I have an appt with the doctor on Thurs.  I think I am going to see if she can be seen too.  We are going to soak her foot in TTO and epsom salts tonight and tomorrow morning.  Thank you all so much for your answers!

post #10 of 17

I noticed the Canada location…..


Can you call your provincial tele-health?  I imagine they will tell you to go to the hospital, but they may be able to give you other info as well.  I have used the one in Ontario, and found it pretty thorough.  


Thursday seems a little late for me.  I was looking up tetanus, and it said symptoms can begin in as little as 3 days  (it also said the average incubation period was 8 days, and wounds further away from the central nervous system (a foot wound) are usually longer incubation periods, but still)


If you do want her to have TIG or feel the need for professional wound cleaning, Thursday is just too far away, IMO.


I would do your research  (I would look at CDC pink book, NVIC and Smartvax to see what they all say on tetanus) plus listen to your momma instincts,  and make a decision shortly.


My 2 cents.



Edited by kathymuggle - 9/8/12 at 6:25pm
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

I think I will make an appt for Monday.  Thanks. :)

post #12 of 17

Please let us know how it goes.  And I am very happy to hear that you have a Family Dr. that you trust.  We just started seeing a new Dr.  and when he asked about shots, and we said our son doesn't have any he just said "well it's your choice".  Makes it so much easier to take your kid in when they need it.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Yes I will post a reply.  I am calling the doctors tomorrow.  Thank you for the concern.

post #14 of 17

I think TIG has to be given in 72 hours.  I would take her in too if I was you.  I don't vax either and I have always been worried about this same situation.  Hugs :)

post #15 of 17

I am in the same boat and don't know what to do either. My daughter poked her knee on a screw sticking out of our neighbors play structure. It was up high in the play area of the structure, no where near the ground. I'm not sure if this lessens the chances of it containing Tetanus? It's very small and only beld a couple a couple of drops. I cleaned it and put a bandaid over it and have just kept an eye on it. Ugh, the perils of being a non-vaccinating parent.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

I went to the doctors and he gave me penicillin.  I asked about Tetanus and he said Penicillin would work for it at this point.  He didn't seem concerned at all.  So that is what we are giving her.

post #17 of 17
Wouldn't worry so much about the screw on the play structure as I would about a nail. It's not immersed in dirt and very exposed to air vs a nail under the soil.
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