Wednesday, March 25, 2009

First Aid for Dog Bites

As with other wounds, you should stop any bleeding by putting pressure on the wound and then clean the area extensively. Since dog bites are at big risk of becoming infected, most children should take 3-7 days of an antibiotic, usually Augmentin, to prevent an infection from developing. Keep in mind that most dog bites aren't sutured closed, because of this risk of infection. Bites on the face, or those considered to be 'clean' or quickly seen by the doctor may be sutured at times.

Other preventative measures that you may need to take include getting your child a tetanus shot if they have had less than three doses. Even if they have had three or more tetanus shots, if they have a bite that is not considered clean and minor, they may need a tetanus shot if it is been more than 5 years since their last one. Children with clean, minor bites may also need a tetanus booster if their last one was more than 10 years ago. Since most kids have had 4 tetanus shots by 18 months of age and a booster at 4 and 12 years, they may not need another one after a dog bite.