Bites from household pets such as dogs, cats, small mammals and birds are one of the most common injuries in American households. Children are by far the most likely group to be bitten by a pet, with over 75% of reported bites being to the head, face or neck of those 10-years-old and younger. While the bite itself is not always severe, often only scratching the surface of the skin, any amount of contact can cause potentially severe complications from infection if left untreated.
Handling a bite properly and in a timely manner is absolutely critical. The first step in this process, after calming the victim down, is assessing the severity of the bite. If there is little to no bleeding, begin by washing the wound with a disinfectant, or if none is available, by simply running water over it for an extended period. Apply a topical disinfectant and cover the wound with a sterile bandage if possible.
Deeper wounds or those bleeding more will require additional action. If the victim is having trouble moving his or her hands or limbs, for example, this might be a sign of nerve or tendon damage, a serious complication that requires immediate hospital care. A bite to the face or neck will also usually require a hospital visit.
If you have determined that the bite has been properly treated and does not require medical attention, keep it well bandaged and watch for any redness, swelling, or intense pain over the next 48 hours, as this might be a sign of infection.
If you or someone you love has been affected by an animal bite and you believe the owner or caretaker might be in some way responsible, contact the experienced Racine animal bite lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® by calling 1-800-242-2874.