Children are curious in nature. They tend to approach anything they find along the road and often make contact with it. Most of the objects they are likely to play with are animals and insects. This curiosity, however, might end up being ‘bitten’ by a stray cat
—your child may find a group of kitten lying around a brush in a downtown park and gets herself bitten by the mother cat during the attempt to touch its offsprings. This is less frightening compared to the occasion where your child is not bitten for just the sake of curiosity or provoking, but for the reason that is unknown.
Some stray cats might attack children out of nowhere, although the children have no any intention to approach the cats beforehand. You should bring your child to the vet if she experiences the similar situation, since the cat that suddenly bites may carry a serious disease, including rabies.
Therefore, you should provide immediate care to prevent any unwanted infection on your child by learning to overcome the bite wound from the time you spot it. Here are home remedies to treat stray cat’s bite on children. Try these other ways if the similar issue occurs to adults.
1. Know the chronology
While a bite from an indoor pet may be less dangerous, you should be worried when your outdoor cat bites your kid out of nowhere. You may probably suspect your cat as she is able to receive some serious illnesses from her environment, including rabies. However, you may relieve the grim possibility if your cat, whether it is an indoor cat or not, has received her vaccinated; yet the injury should not be taken lightly and left untreated.
Then what about the bite that comes from a wildcat? You should be extremely cautious since wildcats can harbor any serious disease and can spread it by the direct contact from their claws or teeth. If your child has made contact and the bite occurred, inspect the source and make yourself certain if your child needs further treatment from a doctor or not.
Ask your child how she got the bite. Did she do any activity that threatened the stray cat? Was the stray cat the one who attacked first and did it suddenly happen? Also, ask her to identify the cat’s appearance. The cat may reveal some abnormalities, such as a shaking body, the excessive drool from its jaw and a very aggressive behavior. If it turns out that your child did not threaten the cat, you better get her a further medical attention.
2. Check how serious the injury is
The treatment children receive depends on how serious their wound is and you just basically need to check the deep of the wound. Most cats’ bite damages the surface of human skin and it only needs minor treatment, while others can surprisingly stick their tiny, sharp incisor teeth deeper into the human skin or even the bone. Although the ‘deep bite’ rarely occurs as the reported cases are just below 16%, it cannot be denied that this poses a more serious issue since the bacteria (the most common is Pasteurella multocida) that the mouth contains will likely to spread inside the wound. In addition, it makes the treatment more difficult as the cleansing process hardly reach the deep, tiny wound. This explains why the cat bite is more dangerous than other animal bites, which only tear the outer surface of the skin, though severely.
3. Sterilize the wound
The way to take care of the wound is slightly different as it depends on how severe the bite inflicts on your children’s skin.
- The first thing you must do before sterilizing the wound is to keep your calm during the process of the treatment. You need to soothe your kid so she would not become frightened and the treatment can be easily done.
- Afterward, for both superficial and deep puncture wound, wash your own hands and put them on rubber gloves to prevent transmission of bacteria through the open wound.
- Proceed to wash the wound under the warm running water and clean it thoroughly using a regular soap. Do it until three or five minutes.
- If the bite makes a deep puncture and it continues to bleed, do not stop the flow. Instead, gently squeeze the area around the wound to ooze out the blood that may still contain some of the bacteria from the cat’s teeth. Keep it out until the bleeding stop.
- Rinse and then dry it using a sterile towel or cloth.
4. Give natural ointment
You can apply ointment as the remedy to treat stray cat’s bite on your child’s wound once it has already dried. However, you must pay attention to what substance you will supply, because children’s immunity is more susceptible than many adults. Cleaning children’s wound by any mean of disinfectants or other chemical substances may cause harm. They can possibly damage the tissue and decrease the healing process. The same can be said to antibiotic ointment, which usage is restricted on children if they are not provided with a prescription. Added to that, antibiotic has many side effects, such as stomach irritation, yeast infection and vomiting. Given the downside of these substances, you may use them as a last resort or as doctors suggest.
Other than that, nature always offers the best medicine for you. Rather than the chemical substances, you can use a carrot and sterile clay as the alternative ointment. The upside is—they are free of side effect!
- Carrot has a benefit in removing any toxin. You just have to grate a carrot. Spread it on the bite wound and cover it with a sterile dressing. Reapply it every half an hour until the wound looks obscure and is not red anymore.
- Sterile clay, another natural treatment for the bite wound. It can extract the contaminant within the wound and aid the healing. You have to combine it with pieces of antimicrobial properties such as berberis or goldenseal. Apply the mixture on the bite wound and the area around it. You can reapply when the clay dries a few times per day.
5. Cover the wound
After you wash the wound and give ointment to it, cover the wound with a sterile dressing or cloth. The cover has a function of keeping the wound from any germ. It can also protect the injury from any direct contact that would worsen it. Do not use tape or butterfly bandage since it could trap dangerous bacteria inside the wound. Along with the reapplying the ointment, it is best to cover the bite wound for one until two days.
6. Monitor your child’s condition
Even though you have given the remedies to treat the bite, your child hasn’t been safe yet. You should check for any possible infection from the first time of the bite to a couple of days later. It is necessary if the wound is deep and severe. Check your child’s condition if there is any sign of:
- flu-like symptom.
- The bite wound becomes swollen, red, hot and/or painful.
- The wound would not stop bleeding after 10 minutes, although the given pressure. In addition, the wound does not indicate any sign of healing.
More importantly, if your children:
1) Her tetanus shot is not up to date;
2) Got the bite wound from a stray cat that behaves in an unpredictable way;
3) Got the bite wound on the face or hands; and
4) Have a weakened immune system or other condition that makes her prone to infection.
Get her immediate treatment from a doctor or healthcare provider since the possibility of any serious disease is likely. Moreover, call animal control or the local health department if you suspect the stray cat that attacks your child may suffer from rabies.