8 things you should do when your child suffers a dog bite.
Photo by Isabel Vittrup-Pallier on Unsplash
If your child suffers a dog bite, it can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. Not only do you have to worry about the physical injuries your child may have sustained, but you also have to deal with the potential emotional trauma as well. In this blog post, we will discuss eight things that you should do when your child is bitten by a dog. We will also provide some tips on how to prevent dog bites in the first place. Following these tips can help minimize the negative consequences of this incident and help your child recover more quickly.
Take legal action against the dog owner
If the dog that bit your child was not properly restrained, you have the right to take legal action against the owner. This can help ensure that other families do not have to go through what you are currently dealing with. In addition, it may also result in financial compensation for your child’s medical bills and other damages. In the words of legal specialists at The Solomon Law Group from the day you get bit, the statute of limitations starts running and you may lose your right to sue if you wait too long to file suit. This means it’s important to act quickly.
Seek medical attention immediately
If your child has been bitten by a dog, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if the wound does not appear to be serious, there is always the risk of infection. In addition, some dog bites can result in nerve damage or other internal injuries that may not be immediately apparent. For example, a dog bite on the hand can cause damage to the tendons that control movement in the fingers. A doctor will be able to properly assess the extent of the injuries and provide the appropriate treatment.
Your child should also be vaccinated against rabies as soon as possible if the dog that bit them was not up to date on their shots. The risk of contracting rabies from a dog bite is very low, but it is still important to take this precautionary measure.
What are the symptoms of a dog bite?
Some of the symptoms of a dog bite are:
- Crusting over the wound
If your child develops any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. In some cases, dog bites can result in more serious injuries, such as:
- Nerve damage
- Bone fractures
- Muscle damage
- Tendon damage
- Ligament damage
- Internal bleeding
These more serious injuries may require hospitalization, surgery, or even lifelong care. That is why it is so important to seek medical attention immediately if your child has been bitten by a dog.
Clean the wound thoroughly
Once you have sought medical attention, you will need to clean the wound thoroughly. This will help prevent infection and speed up the healing process. Use clean water and soap to gently clean the area around the wound. Do not use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, as these can actually delay healing. These substances can also be painful when applied to an open wound. Also, be sure to remove any dirt, debris, or dead skin from the wound. This way, you can be sure that the area is clean and free of any potential infection-causing agents.
Apply a sterile bandage
Once you have cleaned the wound, you will need to apply a sterile bandage. This will help keep the area clean and protected while it heals. Be sure to change the bandage regularly, as a dirty bandage can actually delay healing. In addition, you should keep the area around the wound clean and dry. This means avoiding activities that would cause sweating or get the area wet.
Give your child pain relief medication
Your child is likely to experience some pain and discomfort after suffering a dog bite. Over-the-counter pain medication can help to relieve this pain and make your child more comfortable. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging carefully, as giving your child too much medication can be dangerous. If you are unsure about the proper dosage, speak to your child’s doctor or pharmacist. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Keep an eye on the wound
It’s crucial to monitor the wound even after you’ve cleaned it and sought medical assistance. Keep an eye out for infection-related symptoms including pus, swelling, or redness. In the event that you observe any of these symptoms, get help right once. Additionally, make sure to keep the area dry and clean. This will hasten the healing process and help avoid infection.
Help your child cope with the emotional trauma
In addition to physical injuries, dog bites can also cause emotional trauma. This is especially true for young children. It can happen that they become afraid of dogs or any animal after such an attack. It is important to talk to your child about what happened and help them process their emotions. You may also want to consider seeking counseling for your child if the emotional impact is significant. This way, they can get the help they need to recover from the trauma and move on.
Teach your child how to prevent dog bites
The best way to deal with a dog bite is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are a few simple things you can do to reduce the risk of your child being bitten by a dog. First, make sure your child does not approach strange dogs. Second, teach your child to be aware of a dog’s body language and to back away if a dog appears aggressive. Finally, never leave your child alone with a dog, even if the dog is familiar to you.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your child recovers quickly and safely from a dog bite. In addition, you can help prevent future dog bites by taking some simple precautions.