Dogs are man’s best friend – usually. However, sometimes dogs and children don’t mix well.

Maybe a child didn’t understand that a dog didn’t want to be bothered. Perhaps they accidentally touched the dog near its eye or other sensitive areas. Or maybe the dog simply attacked without being provoked.

No matter why it happened, after a dog bite, it’s important to act fast. Here are some basic steps to take if your child has been bitten by a dog.

Assess the severity of the bite wound.

If your child’s injuries are minor, and there’s no sign of infection or further damage, you may be able to treat the injury at home with an antiseptic and a bandage. However, if the bite has broken the skin or is very deep, it’s best to take your child to urgent care or an emergency room as soon as possible.

Contact the dog’s owner.

Ask for information about the animal’s oral health, vaccinations, and behavior history. This can all help inform both the medical treatment and any legal action you may decide to take.

Roughly half of all dog bites transfer some sort of bacteria, so your doctor will want to know as much information as you can provide.

Watch for signs of infection.

Be sure to clean the wound and change any bandages regularly according to your doctor’s instructions. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed if there’s any risk of infection.

Keep an eye out for any symptoms that may indicate a serious reaction from the bite itself, such as redness, swelling, increased pain, and fever.

Consider taking legal action if necessary.

Depending on the severity of the bite and the circumstances of the incident, you may want to consult with a lawyer to discuss further options or damages.

If your child has been bitten by a dog, remember that safety comes first. Taking the necessary precautions and seeking professional medical advice can help ensure that your child receives the best care possible.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice. Please seek a lawyer’s and/or doctor’s opinion before taking any action.