That cuddly little terrier on the sidewalk?
It’s almost begging for some petting, right?
At least, that’s what most kids would think. Unbeknownst to them, it might just snap at them when they approach it, or worse still, ‘bite’ them!
No matter how well-trained a dog might be, there is always the possibility that it might bite your child. While it is certainly nice to shower animals with affection, it is more important to be Safe. After all, that dog bite might just land your little one in the emergency room a few hours later!
This article proposes to highlight all information pertaining to Dog Bite Management and Prevention. Dog Bite Cases abound, and it’s best that one be prepared with some good old Dog Bite First Aid.
That is, in case your little one ever has the misfortune of being bitten by a dog!
Dog Bite Management
Dog Bite Cases are really far more common than you think. Dog Bite Management, however, always comes along with its share of controversy.
Here are some of the necessary steps that need to be undertaken immediately, when your child has had the misfortune of being bitten by a dog.
- Thorough Irrigation using Saline needs to be performed, after all the visible dirt has been sponged away.
- If the wounds appear Infected, they need to be Cultured. Further, they must be Debrided to reduce the risk of Infection.
- It is important to remember here, that Puncture Wounds should not be Closed.
- Wounds on the Hands and Feet need to be managed with the help of a Surgical Specialist.
- Children bitten by dogs need to be assessed for Tetanus Immunization Status. The necessity of Rabies Prophylaxis must be assessed on a case-to-case basis.
Important Points to consider after that Dog Bite
When it comes to effective Dog Bite Management, you need to keep these points in mind.
- You must seek immediate medical attention, if your child is bitten by a dog that appears to behave erratically. The same goes for any dog that has an unknown rabies vaccine history.
- If your child has not received the Tetanus Toxoid injection in the last 5 years, it must be administered immediately.
- If it’s a severe bite (Class 3), or if there are bites on the face, then a shot of Rabies Immunoglobulin is in order!
Dog Bite First Aid Kit
One must have a Dog Bite First Aid Kit ‘handy’. After all, things might just get out of ‘hand’ after your child has petted a seemingly innocent-looking dog.
Here’s what that First Aid Kit must include:
- Varying sizes of Sterile Adhesive Bandages
- Different Sizes of Sterile Gauze Pads
- Cotton Buds, Cotton Roll
- Latex Gloves
- Sterile Saline
When you need to rush to the Doctor
This one’s a dilemma of sorts, for parents of children that have been bitten by a dog.
Here’s some points that will help you assess if your child needs hospital treatment for that dog bite. If any of the following occur, it’s time for a trip to the hospital!
- The wound doesn’t stop bleeding.
- The pain is too intense to bear.
- There is a loss of function, like the inability to move one’s fingers.
- The area around the bite is swollen.
- You can see infected Pus.
Tips for Dog Bite Prevention
Prevention is better than Cure, they say. Especially so, with Dog Bites that can even be life-threatening!
When it comes to Dog Bite Prevention, you need to bear the following tips in mind.
- Always ask the owner if it is okay to pet the dog. Sometimes, dogs are friendly with only the people they know intimately.
- Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog. They might be the cutest-looking dog in the world, but there could be a storm brewing inside them!
- Never leave your little one alone with a dog. This is relevant even in the case of your family dog, or a dog that you have been assured is well-behaved. The truth remains, ‘Any Dog can Bite.’
- Pet them gently. Children have to understand that, just like humans, dogs are living beings. They must not do things like squeezing them too tight, dropping them or even jumping on them!
- Never take away something a dog has in their mouth. This could be a toy, or even a bone. Dogs are fiercely possessive about what they are clinging on to, and will bite if they have to, if they feel it is being taken away from them.
- Stay motionless, when being approached by a dog that is not familiar. You might have heard this piece of advice being given to people who might find themselves confronted by Bears. Children must behave in the same way, around strange Dogs that approach them.
- Don’t play aggressive games with them. A lot of times, children are tempted to play games like Wrestling with their dogs. Games that might just go awry at any second! The dog isn’t entirely to blame. The child knows it is a game, but the dog doesn’t!
- Handle a dog that is trying to bite you. You can do this by putting an object between yourself and the dog trying to bite you. In case you are knocked over by the dog, you must roll into a ball, cover your face and lie still.
- Don’t feed a dog a ‘treat’ with your fingers. If you really have to give a dog a treat, ensure that it is in your outstretched palm.
- Do not Disturb. All living beings do not like their sense of peace destroyed. If you see a dog that is eating or sleeping, ensure that you don’t pet them. The same goes with a mother taking care of her pups!
At EuroKids, we believe that giving your children tips on Dog Bite Prevention, is an absolute must. Especially when those Dog Bites are a frequent reason for kids to be brought to the emergency room. You can never be too careful, even around dogs that you know well.