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What To Do If Your Child Gets Bitten By Someone Else’s Dog

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Probably the most common trait for moms is the innate desire to keep their children safe. Try to get in their way and see how all hell breaks loose!

I’m a mom who likes taking her kids for walks around the neighborhood. There are a lot of times I became a full-on mom when we’ve encountered DANGER that threatens me as well as my babies — careless dog owners.

In my opinion, it’s not the dog per se that’s dangerous; it’s the owner who permits their dog to roam the streets or parks. I have countless experiences of carrying my kids away panicked after being growled at, or worse, being chased by dogs. All this happened just because the pooch is not restrained inside the owner’s property or it’s off its leash.

Hey people, I got two words for you. Leash Law. Under this law, dogs are not allowed to go on any property without a person physically controlling it. The animal caught will be impounded, and the owner will be fined.

 But what if the inevitable happens, and your child gets bitten by a dog, what should you do?

Get away from the dog

Make sure you and your child are at a safe distance from the dog. The dog might get aggressive and may bite some more. 

Apply first aid

The first step in applying first aid is to clean the site of the bite. Wash it with soap then rinse it in running water to remove bacteria. Like any wound, you need to minimize bleeding. Using a clean washcloth, apply pressure until the bleeding stops. Gently pat the area dry, put on some antiseptic, and cover with a bandage.

Seek medical attention

Make sure to see your pediatrician within 8 hours to lessen the risk of infection. On the other hand, your child will need emergency services if:

  • You don’t know the dog’s owner, or the dog’s rover shots are not updated. Rabies and tetanus shots are required to make sure nothing terrible happens to your kid.
  • The bite is near your child’s head or neck. Your doctor will ask for lab tests such as CT scan or X-ray to make sure there are no underlying injuries.
  • The injury is profound. A deep wound is when it is about a quarter of an inch beneath the skin. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections. If the surface of the skin is lacerated, it might require stitches.
  • The bleeding won’t stop after ten minutes of constant pressure. This means the bite has damaged a blood vessel and will require immediate medical attention.

Check daily for infections

Watch out for any signs of infection, which are:

  • Tenderness or redness in the area around the bite
  • Pus or fluid discharge from the wound
  • Loss of sensation near the wound
  • Limited use of the injured part
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever or chills
  • Night sweat

If your child is showing any of these symptoms, it’s time to get a follow-up checkup with your pediatrician. Your child may need additional oral medication or intravenous antibiotics. 

Get trauma counseling

If your child is disturbed in the days following the biting incident, consider hiring a counselor. They may be suffering from the trauma caused by the encounter with the dog. A professional can help your child understand that what happened is an isolated incident. 

Exchange information with the owner

Maintain communication with the dog’s owner and secure information regarding the dog’s latest rabies vaccination. It’s necessary to record the vaccine information such as the license number and the animal clinic that handled the vaccination. Also, take the owner’s personal contact information, name, home address, and contact number for future reference.  

Report the bite

You are required by law to report any animal bites to the police or local animal control office, most especially if the dog is a stray, it has no history of vaccination, or it is acting strangely. Animal control will restrain the dog in their premises and observe it for any signs of it being rabid. Check with your local animal resource center for helpful information.

Hire a dog bite lawyer

Need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit? Getting the services of a personal injury lawyer from sites like hildasibrian.com/en/ is important. The dog bite lawyer will be instrumental in dealing with the owner’s insurance company, if any, and negotiating a settlement. An experienced and skilled lawyer will help your cause to acquire the care your child needs and the legal outcome you deserve.

Knowing exactly what to do in case of a dog bite is imperative for all parents. Pay special attention to the specifics and your child will surely be out of harm’s way.