Human bites are the third most commonly treated bites after those inflicted by dogs and cats. Just like a bite from an animal, these can lead to a nasty infection and other complications if not properly treated.
Human bites are often inflicted by young children who are either acting in anger or frustration. For this reason, parents or guardians of children are especially at risk from child bites. While most incidents are usually harmless, some will require immediate attention. Here’s a guide on how to recognize an infected human bite with further information on treatment and prevention.
The symptoms of infection
Whether the bite is mild and barely breaks the skin or severe with heavy bruising, there is always a chance of infection. Given the amount of bacteria in the human mouth, it’s not difficult for infection to spread quickly in a wound.
Some common symptoms of infection include heat and swelling around the wound as well as discharge. Even bites which are only slightly tender may easily lead to infection. In worst cases, a fever may occur followed by chills and nausea.
Treating human bites
It’s essential to contact your doctor for any bite that breaks the skin or causes the above symptoms. Bites on the hands, feet or face are more at risk of infection while those with a weakened immune system face increased chances of complications.
There are some simple first aid procedures to treat and care for human bite wounds. Firstly, it’s essential when tending to anyone with a bite wound to wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before touching the area. Alternatively, wear clean medical gloves and dispose after use.
For those wounds that haven’t broke the skin and are not bleeding, wash the area carefully with soap and water. Cover with sterile bandages and avoid taping too securely as this may trap bacteria in the wound.
More serious bites with bleeding and deep trauma should have pressure applied and the area of the wound should be raised. Call your doctor immediately or visit your local emergency room. In certain cases, a wound may require stitches and/ or a round of antibiotics to fight the infection.
Depending on the severity of the wound, human bites can take anywhere from seven to ten days to heal. However, some deeper wounds may cause nerve damage which requires ongoing rehabilitation and scarring.
Preventing human bites
As with many accidental injuries, prevention is key. The risk of being bitten by a human is a reality for professionals working in specialist schools for severe learning disabilities, challenging behaviour, special needs or autism – as well as care workers within mental health care facilities and psychiatric hospitals. BitePRO® Arm Guards & Clothing (click here: www.bite-pro.com) can effectively help reduce the risk of such injuries, offering BS EN 388:2003 blade cut resistance level 5 and extremely high puncture resistance to human teeth.
We supply and help protect staff from all over the world that work in special education or mental health, and face the risk of human bites/kicks/pinching etc when interacting with difficult service users that present challenging behaviour.
We have been receiving outstanding feedback from our users and customers, and according to our research, we are the only company in the world fully dedicated to these sectors with a range that protects against these specific risks.
Please visit our website for more information: www.bite-pro.com