Skip Nav
Halloween
Just 24 Photos of Kitties in Ridiculous Halloween Costumes
Ellen DeGeneres
Move Over, Oprah! Ellen DeGeneres Has Her Own List of 15 Favorite Things For Fall
Halloween
61 Costumes That Your "Too-Cool-For-Halloween" Teen Will Actually Want to Wear This Year
Halloween
All the Kid-Friendly Halloween Movies You Can Stream Free With Your Amazon Prime Membership
Gift Guide
Target Just Revealed the Year’s Top Toys — Here Are 9 Hot Items You Can ONLY Get There

What to Do If Your Child Is Bitten by a Dog

Here's What to Do If Your Child Is Bitten by a Dog

There's nothing sweeter than watching your child interact (and inevitably fall in love) with a dog, and most of the time, it's totally harmless. However, accidents happen, and it's always a good time to educate yourself on how common dog bites really are. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control found that at least 42 percent of all dog bites happen to children under the age of 14, and that number has continued to increase with time.

So, as a parent, what can you do? We spoke with Dr. Evan Weiner, director of emergency medicine at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, who explained what measures should be taken if a dog bites your child. The first thing all parents should do is educate yourself and your kids. "Teach your children to be cautious around unfamiliar dogs," he advises. "Remind them to remain motionless and not to pet the dog until the dog's owner is present and provides permission. Even if you have a dog in your household, teach your child to never disturb the dog if it's sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies. Young children should never be left alone with dogs, both familiar and unfamiliar." But if a bite does occur, here are the steps you should take:

1. Act Fast

Dr. Weiner explains that you must take action quickly, because "there are many forms of bacteria in a dog's mouth, so bites can easily become infected. If a dog bite breaks the skin, make sure to wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water."

ADVERTISEMENT

2. Wrap It Up

Regardless of whether there's bleeding or not, immediately apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream and wrap up the wound, Dr. Weiner advises.

3. Know When to Go to the Emergency Room

"Any dog bites to the face, ears, head, and neck should be seen in the ER for careful repair and antibiotics. Bites on fingers and hands should also be seen in the ER," he continues. "Small bites elsewhere can typically be washed carefully with close follow-up by your child's primary care physician." However, when in doubt, visit an urgent care or ER facility immediately, especially if the bite is from "an unknown dog or a dog with signs of rabies."

4. Keep Checking

Keep an eye out for any signs of infection around the bite, Dr. Weiner concludes, adding that typical signs will include a fever and redness or swelling around the bite.

Image Source: Pexels / Kat Smith
From Our Partners
Lilo & Stitch Elf on the Shelf
Cute Pictures of Puppies
Kristen Bell Responds to Critics' Snow White Comments
Cinderella Carriage Strollers at Disney World
Symptoms of Paralyzing Polio-like Illness
Cutest Pet Pajamas at Target
Unexpected Truths About Owning a Dog
Video of Puppy Purring
Dog Beds at Urban Outfitters
Hot Firemen Posing With Baby Animals
Aquapaw Slow Treater Mat For Bathing Dogs
Service Dog Poses For School Picture
From Our Partners
Latest Family
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds