Dogs are everybody’s first choice when one decides to keep a pet at home. They are nothing less than our best friends. After all, they are loving, caring and the cutest creature. But keeping this aside, they can bite too and I am not specifically talking about the stray dogs or other ones that are strange to you but also the ones you know. Children, particularly between the age of 5 and 9, are more likely to be bitten by a dog as compared to the other age groups. In this article, we will discuss the first aid treatment that needs to be provided for a dog bite in children.
A Guide for Dog Bite First Aid in Children
- Go to a safe place that is away from the dog so as to prevent the second attack and then, call your doctor or rush to the nearest Emergency Department to check if some significant damage has been caused beneath the skin, one that cannot be seen.
- Try to gather information about the dog and its owner that will help you to assess some general details about the vaccinations the dog has received till date.
- Clean the dog bite using some tap water, if possible.
Treatment for a dog bite in children
Treatment for a dog bite can be provided at home also. But when it’s about children, it is always better to consult a doctor. Whether it is a known dog or a dog that you are familiar with, always take your child to the doctor. This is because at times that may also lead to certain infections that are required to be treated with medications.
Care tips at home:
- Take a clean towel and place it over the injury in order to stop the bleeding.
- Wash the bitten area using soap and water.
- Use a sterile bandage and apply it over the wound.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment to the injury regularly. This will prevent any sort of infection.
- In case you decide to take your kid to the doctor, you should know of the following questions that will need to be answered to the doctor, in order to seek effective treatment.
- The owner of the dog.
- If yes, has the dog received all the vaccinations till date, including rabies?
- Was the dog teased or provoked when the bite occurred?
- Health conditions that you have been suffering from, for instance, diabetes, an illness that can affect the immune system, liver disease or some other health condition that may possess a greater risk for some infection.
The injury will be carefully examined by your doctor so as to check if it has caused any sort of damage to the nerves, muscles or bones. All the dirt will be thoroughly removed from the bite as well as the dead tissues. Although rare, plastic surgery is also needed in some cases such as deep wounds that have caused great damage.
In case, the dog was not known to you or the dog was not given a rabies vaccination, then you will need to get a rabies vaccination as well. Apart from this, you may be required to take the antibiotics for some certain period as instructed by your doctor.
Prevention tips for children
Dogs usually won’t bite you or your kid until it is provoked or teased. Oftentimes, it is caused by a dog that is well known to you. In order to prevent a dog bite:
- Try to choose a dog that you feel will be compatible with your family, especially infants and kids.
- Do not tease or provoke an unknown dog, especially when its owner is absent.
- Provide appropriate training to your dog. This will help to minimize the risk of dog bites.
- Try to avoid eye contact with the dog and highly avoid running or screaming.
- Do not leave your little ones with the dog alone, even if it is a known one.
- Do not approach a dog when it is eating or sleeping.
- Talk to the owner and ask him/her if it’s okay to pet the dog.
- Confirm with the owner about all the vaccinations that the dog has received till date.
You can always take some measures in order to prevent animal bites and you have to teach your kid not to tease animals and to handle them gently. You should also ask them to stay away from stray dogs and more importantly, you should always keep a close check on your kid when he/she is around animals and never leave them alone with a dog.