Childhood injuries are fairly common, but some are more significant than others. One that is particularly dangerous is a dog bite. Although children may not tell their parents about these bites right away, even what appears to be a minor bite could lead to serious injury.
Dog bites are easily infected because of the nature of the wound. They’re usually deep and penetrating, but because they’re puncture wounds, the skin on top seals in bacteria quickly. This means that there is a higher likelihood of infection if the wound is not treated and the child does not receive antibiotics quickly.
Each of these can make you extremely ill. Children, the immunosuppressed and the elderly are the most likely to develop these illnesses after a dog bite.
What should you do if you’re bitten by a dog?
If you or your child is bitten by a dog, seek medical help immediately. Immediately rinse the wound under running water, but avoid scrubbing it. You can clean wounds with a salt solution to kill bacteria on the surface.
When you see your doctor, they may prescribe antibiotics to reduce the likelihood of infection. Depending on the size of the bite and location, it may need to be stitched closed or left open for healing. It’s likely that you or your child will need to be given the tetanus booster.
Dog bites are serious, so don’t take them lightly. If your child reports getting bit, a visit to a doctor is in order.