Perhaps the most serious bites occur when one person bites another. Infection results more often from human bites than from animal bites! That is because we have the type of germs in our mouths that can cause an infection in another human being. Dogs, except for rabies and a few other germs, have many bacteria in their mouths that are perfectly harmless to humans.
Older children are sometimes bitten by a younger sister or brother. Older children know better than to bite a sister or brother, or to bite another child even if they are fighting him. Anyone who receives a human bite that has punctured or torn the skin, should do the following things at once:
1. Wash the wound thoroughly for ten to fifteen minutes with soap and warm water.
2. Iodine, alcohol, or other medicines should not be poured over the wound.
3. A clean dressing should be placed over the area of the bite.
4. The child should be taken to a doctor, who will clean the wound further and will stitch it if necessary. He will then probably give a tetanus booster shot and will prescribe antibiotic medications to prevent infection.
Frostbite is a burn caused by being out in the cold too long. This happens to children, especially young ones, if they play out in the snow on very cold days for long periods of time. The most frequently seen places for frostbite are the tips of the fingers and toes, the tip of the nose, and the ears. This is the first aid treatment for frostbite:
1. The child should be allowed to warm up slowly in a room of ordinary temperature.
2. Warm foods and warm liquids should be taken. This will help to raise the entire body temperature, including the areas that were frostbitten.
3. The frostbitten parts should not be massaged or rubbed.
4. The frostbitten parts should not be placed in either hot or cold water. They should be permitted to warm up by themselves.
5. If the frostbitten parts are very painful, a grown-up may give the child an aspirin or some similar pain-relieving medicine.
6. If the skin is broken in an area of frostbite, it should be covered with a clean dressing.
Fortunately, most frostbite clears up by itself within a short time.
Following overexposure to cold, a child should be covered with blankets or placed in a warm tub. Neither hot water nor snow should be used to treat frostbite.
To prevent frostbite or dangerous exposure to cold, a child should always dress properly when outdoors in very cold weather. Woolen socks and heavy boots are helpful in protecting the feet and toes; woolen mittens give good protection to the fingers; and a woolen cap that can be pulled down will help to prevent the ears from getting frostbitten. However, no matter how warmly a child is dressed, overexposure to cold can result in frostbite. A child must be sensible and come in out of the cold when his fingers or toes or ears or nose begin to tingle or freeze.