Stings and Bites

 

Dog And Other Animal Bites

 

 

A child may sometimes be bitten by a dog, monkey, cat or some other animal. The major worry in these cases is that the animal could be rabid and the child may develop rabies as a result of the bite. And rabies is almost always fatal.

Stray, infected dogs are a major cause of rabies among human beings. In India, cats, monkeys, mongooses, jackals and cattle may also be occasionally responsible for rabies. Bats, foxes, wolves and skunks are also known to transmit rabies, but only in the USA and Latin America. Rat bites do not cause rabies.

 

What to Do

 

 

●      First and foremost, the wound caused by a dog or other rabid animal bite should be immediately and thoroughly cleaned with soap and water.

●       

●       

●      After removal of all traces of soap from the wound, apply locally povidone-iodine (Betadine or Wokadine) 1% lotion, or tincture of iodine, or 70% alcohol. In an emergency any alcoholic liquor of 86-proof or higher may be used./LI>

●       

●      Remember that thorough flushing and cleaning of the wound with plenty of water and soap is the most essential and really important first line of treatment. The subsequent application of antiseptics is of secondary importance.

●       

●       

●      Take the child quickly to your doctor for him to attend to the wound. He may also like to remove dead tissues at the site of the wound.

●       

●       

●      You must take steps to trace, identify and keep track of the offending dog or animal for 10 days after your child has been bitten. If the animal lives that long, one can safely exclude rabies. But if the animal is found to be showing abnormal behaviour suggestive of rabies it should be immediately reported to your doctor. If the animal dies, arrangements must be made for taking the dead animal to a suitable laboratory for examination of its brain and confirmation of the diagnosis of rabies.

●       

●       

●      Taking into account the status of the animal, the site and severity of the wound and other relevant factors, the doctor will decide whether to administer anti-rabies vaccine to your child. Three kinds of anti-rabies vaccines are now available in India. Your doctor will explain to you their respective advantages, cost, dosage, etc. You must strictly follow his instructions regarding vaccine administration.

●       

●       

●      Your child may also need protection against tetanus depending upon his earlier immunization status.

/

 

Immunization of Pet Dogs And Cats

 

 

Pet dogs and cats must always be properly and regularly immunized against rabies under advice from a trained veterinary surgeon. The immunization should

begin when the animal is 3 months old.

 

Wasp and Bee Stings

 

 

Wasp and bee stings usually cause severe pain, itching and local swelling at the site of the sting. Occasionally, a child may develop a severe reaction due to hyper-sensitivity. He may have a rash or a weal may form over his skin. The child may also have difficulty in breathing and may become markedly pale with a steep fall in his blood pressure.

 

What to Do

 

 

●      If the wasp or bee sting is visible, remove it carefully without allowing it to break inside the child’s skin. This may be done with the help of a pair of forceps or tweezers.

●       

●       

●      Local application of an ice pack, a soothing lotion like calamine or anaesthetic creams like Xylocaine or Gesicane Topical cream would help reduce the pain and the irritation. He may also be given paracetamol tablets or syrup and an anti-allergic drug like phenargan syrup for the relief of pain and swelling.

●       

●       

●      In the rare event of severe and hyper-sensitive reaction, the child should be rushed to the nearest hospital for emergency management.

●       

●       

●      Snakebite

●       

●       

●      Snakebite still needs emergency medical care in many parts of India, especially in the rural areas. This is because in India, 52 out of the 216 species of snakes are poisonous.

●       

●      What to Do

●       

●       

○      Calm the child and put him to rest. A child may die simply due to fear and shock even when the snake is non-poisonous. It is therefore important to reassure and comfort the child.

○       

○       

○      Do not allow the child to run around. The leg or arm that has been bitten by the snake should be tied down with a splint and not moved about. Lack of movement will reduce the absorption of poison into his body.

○       

○       

○      Apply a wide bandage with moderate firmness around the limb above the site of the bite. It should not be very tight. You should be able to feel the pulse below the bandage (tourniquet).

○       

○       

○      Rush the child to the nearest hospital or medical centre.

○       

○       

○      Try to know whether the attacking snake is dangerous. Knowledge of the types of snakes in your area, what the snake looked like and examination of the snakebite wound would help. Wounds caused by non-poisonous snakes do not show distinct fang puncture marks and there is no local pain and swelling. The child also does not subsequently develop any symptoms of poisoning. If the snake is killed, it should be taken to the hospital for identification.

○       

○       

In case a poisonous snake bites the child, he will need urgent treatment and hospitalisation.