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Health Information For Parents
Animal bites and scratches, even minor ones, can sometimes lead to complications. Whether the animal is a family pet (in kids, most animal bites that are reported are from dogs) or a creature from the wild, scratches and bites can carry disease.
Some bites, especially from cats, can get infected by bacteria from the animal’s mouth. And cat scratch disease, a bacterial infection, can develop from a cat scratch (usually from a kitten) even if the scratch site doesn’t look infected. Some animals — such as bats, raccoons, and foxes — can spread rabies.
Kids whose tetanus shots are not up to date will need a shot (post-exposure tetanus prophylaxis) after an animal bite to prevent tetanus infection.
Teach your children to stay away from strange animals, and not to tease or provoke any animals, even family pets. Animals should not be disturbed while they are eating or sleeping.
If you own a pet, make sure it’s properly immunized and licensed.
Kids can benefit from the companionship, affection, and relationships they share with pets. But it’s important to know how to protect your family from infections carried by pets and other animals.
Rabies is a serious infection of the nervous system that is caused by a virus. Rabies is usually transmitted by a bite from an infected animal.
Tetanus (also called lockjaw) is a preventable disease that affects the muscles and nerves, usually due to a contaminated wound.
Animal bites and scratches that break the skin can cause infection. Rarely, animal bites can cause rabies, a dangerous, life-threatening disease.
Cat scratch disease is an infection that causes swelling of the lymph nodes after a cat scratch or bite. Learn about signs and symptoms, prevention, treatment, and more.
Are you a little afraid of dogs? Some kids are, so find out how you can make friends with dogs and avoid dog bites.
Teaching kids a few basic dog manners will help them enjoy safe encounters with Fido.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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