What to do if your child is bitten by a dog

There’s nothing more heart-warming than watching your children play and interact with a dog. Whether it’s your own pet or a neighbourhood dog, it’s one of the most innocent and pure things a parent can witness. But, what happens when the fun and games turn into a life-threatening situation?

Dogs can bite and attack for a variety of reasons, whether they’re acting in self-defence, they’ve gotten too excited or the reason is completely unknown, when your child gets bitten by a dog it’s utterly terrifying for everyone involved. So, the question remains, what should you do when your child has been bitten by a dog? Here we’ll look at the steps you should take next.

Before we begin, did you know that if you or your child has been bitten by a dog you could pursue a personal injury case? Whether you’ve received life-changing injuries and you’re no longer fit or able to work for a time, or psychologically you’re hurting, consider a no-obligation dog attack consultation to see what you may be entitled to, and get your life back on track. 

Prevention is better than cure

Like in most cases, prevention is better than cure, and if your children – like most kids – enjoy the company of dogs, then it’s important that you set some ground rules for when they’re either playing with or find themselves near a dog. Whether this dog is known to them or not, they should know the following:

  • If the dog is unknown, always ask the owner if they can stroke the dog first
  • When meeting a new dog, stand still and let the dog come to them first
  • Never disturb a dog that is eating or sleeping
  • Never leave a dog alone with a child, whether it’s a family pet or not.
  • Know that not all dogs like being hugged and kissed
  • Be calm/avoid screaming/shouting and running around
  • If they do stroke the dog, make sure they’re being gentle
  • Avoid tail and ear pulling 

If a bite or attack does occur, consider the following procedures:

Clean the wound

A dog’s mouth is home to all kinds of bacteria, so any puncture wound must be cleaned thoroughly. You can use a home first aid kit to clean a wound, cover with antiseptic cream and then wrap it with a clean bandage to prevent more dirt from entering the wound. 

When to visit the hospital

There are some instances where you should visit the hospital: 

  • If there are wounds to the neck, head, face or ears
  • Bites on the hands, fingers or toes
  • If the dog is unknown – your child may need a rabies shot
  • If you can’t stop the bleeding

Your child’s mental health

It’s understandable for a child to be frightened of dogs after a bite. So, try not to belittle their fears and tell them to get over it. Reintroduce dogs into their lives slowly or consider seeking therapy if your child’s fears are affecting other parts of their life.

this is a collaborative post

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