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There is always the risk of infection from any bite or scratch that breaks the skin, and there is also the possibility of internal muscle or tendon damage from a bite that is deep enough. A series of painful but necessary rabies vaccinations may be needed if the animal showed any signs of rabid behavior. Rabies can be treated effectively in the early stages, but has a 100% fatality rate if allowed to progress. So it’s important to have your child checked out.

Treatment for animal bites:

  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • Apply pressure with sterile antiseptic or anything else to the wound.
  • Cover any broken skin with a bandage or sterile gauze.

Seek medical care if:

  • The child has a bite that punctured or broke the skin.
  • Was bitten by a stray animal, wildlife, or any animal that was acting strangely.
  • Was bitten anywhere on the face, neck, hand, or near a joint.
  • The bite is becoming increasingly painful or swollen.
  • The child is behind on immunizations or hasn’t had a recent tetanus shot.

When seeking treatment, have the following information ready: The type of animal, date of animal’s last vaccination (if known), any unusual behavior by the animal, the animals location with any known information about the animal, and the child’s shot records.

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