What to do if a child is bitten by an animal?

The dog bites

Complaints about animal bites are often addressed to the Ivano-Matreninsky Children’s Clinical Hospital. The palm between such injuries belongs to dogs – both street and domestic. Squirrels, cats, hedgehogs, rats and even horses also attack children. In recent years, the number of emergency bite visits has increased: if in 2018 it was 155, then in 2019 – 245 and in 2020 – already 256. So what should parents do if a child is bitten by a beast?

Do not panic

The first and foremost rule is not to panic. Of course, this is not easy in a stressful situation, but it is your job to ensure that the child is not even more frightened when he sees fear in the eyes of his parents.

– We consider any animal bite from two positions: this is the treatment of the wound itself and the prevention of rabies, – says the head of the GIMDKB injury center Tatiana Pretorius. – The mildest degree of such an injury is without damage to the skin, when only swelling and hematoma appear. In this case, it is not necessary to go to the hospital, as long as you treat the bite site first with soapy water and then with antiseptic, cool down and rest on the injured limb – do not run, do not jump.

If there is damage to the skin, but not deep – a superficial scratch, then the rules for its treatment are the same: soap solution, antiseptic, only one antiseptic bandage is still needed on top. Such scratches usually disappear after a few days and, in general, also do not require the involvement of doctors. However, if, despite the measures taken, the scratch is still inflamed, you should show the child to the surgeon.

– If an empty wound remains after an animal bite, then, regardless of its size, you should seek help from our hospital injury center or any other medical facility, if the injury is in the face, to the emergency dental service, – continues Tatiana Pretorius. – Without surgery, such wounds almost always become inflamed in one to two days. For large wounds we apply sutures that lead, especially if they are on the face or hand. This is done by drainage, under the pretext of antibiotics, so that there are no scars.

No more 40 injections in the stomach

No cases of rabies have been reported in our area for almost 40 years, neither in humans nor in animals. According to the Rospotrebnadzor of the Irkutsk region, outbreaks of this disease are found annually in neighbors – in Buryatia, Krasnoyarsk and Trans-Baikal territories, so we pay special attention to prevention, and if an animal is bitten, a vaccination course begins. .

These most terrifying “40 stomach injections” no longer exist: the full course of vaccination consists of only six vaccinations with the rabies vaccine – day zero (day of bite), third, seventh, 14th, 30th and 90th.

– A domestic dog or cat that lives in the yard, with neighbors, relatives can bite, without showing aggression first. It happens that a child climbed on a dog that gnawed a bone, or accidentally stepped on its tail or the dog bit his hand out of excitement of the toy – in this case, the animal should be observed for 10 days, ideally quarantined, – Tatiana Lvovna explains. – It is believed that if the animal was infected with rabies at the time of the child bite, then in those 10 days it will die. If during this time the animal’s behavior remains the same, there are no external changes, then on the tenth day it should be examined by a veterinarian and issued a certificate that there is no rabies. During these 10 days of quarantine, three vaccinations are given and if the animal is healthy, the vaccine can be omitted until the end. But if something happens to the animal during this period, it is necessary to vaccinate it, and in full.

As a rule, if the animal that bit the child is domestic, with all the necessary vaccines, does not walk without owners, does not come in contact with stray dogs, does not hunt mice, then the risk of getting rabies is minimal. But if the wound was caused by a stray dog, a stray cat, a squirrel in the woods, a rat found in the backyard of the store, the child needs a complete rabies vaccination program.

– It is very important for parents to understand that vaccinations must be given on the exact day. You can not give these injections sooner or later – the effect of the vaccine “on schedule” is confirmed by clinical trials, – says Tatiana Lvovna. – In recent years, the number of stray dog ​​bites has increased – this is not just a problem in big cities. Dogs bite on the way to school, while walking, etc. The most dangerous locations for such injuries are the hands and face. The only case in which a child, after being bitten by an unknown animal, can not be vaccinated against rabies is if the injury was caused by warm winter clothes and pants or a jacket and at the same time is not destroyed, then the animal’s saliva remains in them and does not come in contact with the wound. There is no risk of infection.

Tenderness for the hedgehog

If a child is bitten by an animal on the face or neck, parents should contact the emergency dental office.

– With the bites of various animals, patients come to the emergency room more often in summer than in winter, – says the orthodontist GIMDKB Vladimir Pilpanov. – Not only dogs and cats bite in the face and neck, but also horses, rabbits, hedgehogs. We recently performed an initial cleansing on a five-year-old patient who wanted to kiss his hedgehog. The pet did not appreciate the impulse of tenderness, bit the child on the lip, we put four stitches on him.

In July, six-year-old Danil’s parents went to the hospital.

– I was in the garden, the children went to the fence and my husband followed me, literally five meters away, says the boy’s mother. – Suddenly I hear screams. For some reason, our dog rushed to Danil, and as soon as the husband jumped, the dog immediately retreated. I treated the wound with peroxide and we immediately went to the Ivano-Matryona hospital. It is not clear why our dog behaved this way. Azbay is a guard dog, not a purebred, but the children always communicated with him normally. It may overheat in the heat.

– The patient was admitted with two injuries – on the right cheekbone and on the upper lip, – said Vladimir Pilpanov. – We did the main surgical treatment: we put eight stitches, four for each wound. Danila was released under outpatient care at the place of residence. There were no indications for hospitalization, such as fever, tissue inflammation. According to the parents, the dog is domestic, he has made the necessary vaccinations. And they arrived on time, right after the injury.

The tendency to feed squirrels in parks and squares sometimes also leads to injuries. The townspeople, who take care of the cute animals with food, teach them to literally demand food from people. The next day, such a cheeky squirrel, asking for a treat, jumped into a stroller with a sleeping baby and scratched his thin skin near the eye. The child needed an examination by an ophthalmologist.

Cookies in hand

A recent case of a dog attack on a child in Zima had far more serious consequences – a five-year-old boy needed surgery.

Our yard dog has been with us for a long time. On that day, September 12, he was unhooked, remembers the boy’s mother. – I was at home, I heard a scream, I jumped out – my son was already standing on the porch, his face was torn, his finger was torn, blood was dripping from him. The dog was nowhere to be seen, he was hiding. I was very scared, from the shock I even forgot how to call an ambulance. She shouted at a neighbor, her husband took us to the hospital. At the hospital, Vladik received first aid.

However, Vladik’s condition did not improve – he had a fever, conjunctivitis started and then his mother decided to take her son to Irkutsk. In addition, the boy was very scared.

– We arrived at the emergency dental office of Ivano-Matreninsky Hospital, the doctor just looked at his son and immediately said to prepare for the operation, you can not eat or drink anything, says Vlad’s mother.

On this day, an orthodontist is on duty at the emergency dentistry Rostislav Lyubchenko:

– Yes, indeed, almost at first glance it was clear that the child had to check the wound under anesthesia. The patient had a bite wound on the right side of the face, irregularly shaped, about 7 cm, which penetrates the soft tissues. The cheek, lip, lower eyelid and under the eyelid were affected. Mom brought her son around six in the evening, we took him to the operating room with orthodontist Svetlana Skornyakova closer to night. Up to this point they did all the necessary research and tests. At the operating table, the wound was inspected, washed, and a total of approximately 20 sutures applied.

Vladislav and his mother were hospitalized in the maxillofacial surgery department. The child was also monitored by an ophthalmologist and a neurologist. Vladik told the neurologist that at the time his dog attacked, he had a cookie in his hand. Maybe the dog decided to get the treat from the boy.

Vladislav was discharged in satisfactory condition. Six months later, his mother will take him back to the hospital: the doctors will see how the wound has healed and then decide if the child needs cosmetic surgery.

How to treat animals

Staff at the Ivano-Matreninsky Children’s Clinical Trauma Center asked dog handlers to develop basic rules for how to treat animals.

– Do not force the dog to communicate with the child, do not hit the dog and do not shout at him.

– Do not play hard, aggressive, noisy games with the dog, especially if there is a child nearby.

Do not catch the dog and do not chase it.

– Do not caress someone else’s dog when the owner is away, but also if it is tied with a leash, behind a fence, in a car.

– Do not look at the dog.

– Do not hug the dog and do not try to kiss him on the face, do not bend over him or step on him.

– Do not leave a small child alone with the animals.

I remember: any animal, even domestic, calm, obedient and lived with you for many years, without ever biting anyone, the best thing in the world is still an animal!

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