Your child was bitten by another child? Here’s what to do

You receive a call from the day care center: your child was bitten by a friend! Although bites in young children are generally without consequences, appropriate wound care is important.

In most cases, the bite will not break the skin. All you need to do is clean the area well with soap and water. You can apply a cold compress to relieve the pain. No vaccine is required.

If the skin was broken, the Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that no pressure be applied to stop the bleeding, but rather to let it bleed gently. Then clean the wound well with ordinary soap and water. A light antiseptic, such as hydrogen peroxide, may be used. Never put friction alcohol on a wound, as this product will cause severe pain to the child.

It is recommended that both children’s (the bitten and the bitter) immunization record be checked for vaccination against hepatitis B. Also check that the bitten child was vaccinated against tetanus. If either child did not received all their shots (hepatitis B and/or tetanus), you should seek medical advice, as it is usually recommended that the vaccine be administered promptly. The risk of transmission is very low, but it is better to be safe!

Keep an eye on the wound over the next few days to make sure it heals well. If you notice redness, swelling or pus, your child should be seen by a doctor.

http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/biting_in_child_care

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