Animal or Human Bite

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Care at Home

  • BLEEDING: * For any bleeding, put pressure on the wound. * Use a gauze pad or clean cloth. * Press for 10 minutes or until the bleeding has stopped.
  • CLEANSING: * Wash all wounds right now with soap and water for 5 minutes. * Also, flush well under running water for a few minutes. Reason: Can prevent many wound infections. * Scrub the wound enough to make it re-bleed a little. Reason: To help with cleaning out the wound.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * Most scratches, scrapes and other minor bites heal up fine in 5 to 7 days.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Bite starts to look infected (pus, redness, red streaks) * Fever occurs * Your child becomes worse
  • ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT: * For small cuts, use an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin. No prescription is needed. * Put it on the cut 3 times a day. * Do this for 3 days.
  • PAIN MEDICINE: * To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table.
  • COLD PACK FOR BRUISES: * For bruising, use a cold pack. You can also use ice wrapped in a wet cloth. Apply it to the bruise once for 20 minutes. Reason: Helps with bleeding, pain and swelling.
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Bites that don't break the skin can't become infected. * Cuts and punctures always are at risk for infection. * Here is some care advice that should help.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

If you think that your child is having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!

And when in doubt, call your child's doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.

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