Animal bites and scratches, even minor ones, can sometimes lead to complications. Regardless of whether they are a family pet (in children, most bites are from a dog) or from a stray or wild animal, bites and scratches can spread disease.
Some bites, especially those of cats, can become infected due to the bacteria contained in the animal's mouth. And cat scratch disease, a bacterial infection, is transmitted through cat scratches (usually from cat puppies), even if the scratch site does not appear to be infected. Some animals, such as bats, raccoons and foxes, can transmit rabies.
Those children who receive an animal bite and do not have an updated tetanus vaccine will need an injection against tetanus (post-exposure tetanus prophylaxis) to prevent this disease.
How to act:
- If the wound caused by the bite or scratch bleeds, apply pressure on the affected area with gauze or a clean towel until it stops bleeding. If you have clean latex or rubber gloves, use them to protect yourself and to prevent your child's wound from becoming infected.
- If the wound does not bleed much, clean it with soap and water, and leave it under running water for several minutes.
- Dry the wound, apply antibiotic ointment and cover it with sterile gauze or a clean cloth.
- Call your child's doctor if the bite or scratch has pierced the child's skin, even if it only affects a small area. It is possible that a child who has received an animal's bite needs antibiotics, a booster dose of the tetanus vaccine or, on rare occasions, a series of rabies vaccines. Bites and scratches that affect the face, hands or feet are especially prone to infection and should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.
- If it is an unknown or wild animal who has bitten or scratched your child, take note of its location. It may be necessary to capture, enclose and observe some animals to know if they have rabies. But no Try to capture the animal yourself. Instead, call the animal control office or the animal custody center in your area.
- Seek immediate medical help if:
- the wound affects the face, neck, hands or feet of the child or if the affected area is near a joint
- the wound does not stop bleeding after applying direct pressure for 10 minutes
- the wound seems deep, extensive or severe
- the animal that has attacked your child is wild, stray or behaves in a strange way
- pus comes out of the bite or scratch area, or becomes red, hot, swells, or hurts more and more
- Your child has a weakened immune system or has another medical condition that favors infection contraction.
- your child does not keep his tetanus vaccinations up to date
Teach your child to stay well away from unknown animals, and not to provoke or alter any animal, not even family pets. You should never disturb an animal while eating or sleeping.
If you have a pet, be sure to give him all the necessary vaccinations and to have the corresponding permission.
What are the complications of dog bites in children?
If your dog has bitten your child, the first thing you have to do is clean the wound with soap and water and put iodine. If it is a major wound, Do not hesitate to take it to the doctor.
Secondary infectious complications usually occur within 24-72 hours., which is when the lesion presents a serous-hematic secretion. The most common symptoms that the child can have are pain, swelling and, in some cases, fever, but if it worsens, osteitis can occur if it has been bitten in the face, systemic infections, arthritis or tenosynovitis.
Why can the dog bite a person?
The dog needs a series of attention and care to be happy. If we do not take care of it with respect and affection, and / or if we do not dedicate time to play with it and take it out for a walk, it will most likely end up behaving badly and even biting someone if they feel threatened. Many times parents make the mistake of leaving their children alone with the furry.
Children have a different way of playing than dogs: they pull the tail, put their fingers in their eyes and ears, pounce ... Any of these behaviors can frighten the animal, which can react by biting him. Then, parents immediately do not hesitate to blame the dog, but the truth is that Never, under any circumstances, should dogs and children be left alone. In addition, it is important to teach children respect and affection for animals to avoid problems in the future.
Dogs never bite for no reason. Educating him with respect and giving love, it will be very difficult for him to bite the children.