Scared of dog bites?
Habibu Barrow,8 year-old son of Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow was killed by a dog some days ago.
Deaths from dog bites are what I term ‘unnecessary deaths.’
In our clime, stray dogs roam the streets. While the circumstances under which the Habibu was bitten are not known, I would share a few tips on how to prevent deaths from dog bites among out children.
When there is a dog bite, here are things to do:
1. Check if there is a wound.
2. Confirm if there is any part of skin that is punctured.
3. If there are exposed areas, rinse with ONLY lots of water immediately and head straight to the hospital.
4. If wound is in neck or head or face. Head straight to the hospital.
5. Severity of the dog bite would determine aggressiveness of treatment.
6. The rabies status of the dog must be ascertained where possible. Report the incident to dog owner of it has one and find out dog immunization status.
If dog can be identified, watch to see if it dies in a few days. Observe if dog is drooling uncontrollably or observe if dog attacks people without provocation.
7. Ensure medications, toxoid and vaccines are administered.
Here’s hoe to prevent dog bites:
1. Exposure to animals is clearly a risk. The best preventative strategy is to avoid aggressive behaviour with dogs and avoid unfamiliar dogs.
2. Teaching young children to avoid unnecessary provocation of dogs. That may lead to fewer incidents of dog bites.
3. Don’t leave children unattended in the presence of dogs.
4. Education is the key to prevention. This is pertinent, especially for children who are at higher risk for a more serious bite injury.
5. Children can be educated at a young age to avoid strange dogs and to avoid aggravating familiar dogs.
6. The small size of children puts them at risk for aggressive, dominating behaviour by animals, so watch out when there is a dog nearby! Deaths from dog bite is preventable!
I love you, I love your health.
Your favourite family physician,