What To Do If Your Child Has Been Bitten By A Dog At The Park
If you take your child to a park where people also bring their dogs, then you need to be prepared for the possibility that a dog bite situation might occur. Most dog owners are conscientious and will keep their dogs on a leash except when in caged dog park sections, but not all owners are as diligent about this. So, it is possible that a dog might end up biting your kid. If you are unprepared for this, it will cause tremendous panic and you won't be able to act. So, the best thing to do is to know exactly what to do. Here's a quick primer on the proper steps to take.
Remove Your Child To A Safe Area
If the dog is still loose and wandering about, you need to get your child away from it. The dog might strike again. Even if the owner has arrived and is in the process of leashing the dog, get your kid away.
Assess The Wound
Once you are safe, look at the wound and determine how bad the bite is. See if it is a deep wound, or if it is more of a superficial wound. Unless the wound is very serious, you should let it bleed a bit. This can help clean the germs from the wound. If you do have antiseptic on hand or an antibiotic ointment, you can use this. Finally, take a clean cloth and use it to cover the superficial wounds. A bad wound, one that has severe blood loss, should be covered with any sort of fabric immediately. You want to stem the loss of blood. If the wound is severe, you need to immediately contact 911 for medical assistance.
Get The Dog Owner's Information
You need to get the dog owner's contact information. This is so that you can have the vet send over proof of rabies vaccination. While infection is a serious issue when it comes to dog bites, rabies is the more frightening problem. If you can find out that the dog does not have rabies, then you will be much relieved. If the owner runs away, then inform the police of the situation and give them a description. They will then canvas the park and see if they can locate the owner.
At The Hospital
When you get to the hospital the doctors will determine if rabies vaccinations are necessary. The doctor will also clean the wound, determine what sort of antibiotics are necessary, and suture the wound.
Long-Term Cosmetic Issues: Plastic Surgery Consultation
You don't want to just leave the hospital without contacting a pediatric plastic surgeon. Bring in the doctor to look at the wound before it heals. They might decide that the E.R. doctor stitched it in an improper way and it will heal with a noticeable scar. In severe cases, it might be important to get skin grafts done early to help them blend in with your child's overall appearance. The earlier the plastic surgeon is brought into the situation, the more options they have when dealing with the healing process.