Children's Health and Wellness

Treatment for Human Bites

Human bites can easily become infected due to the number of bacteria in the human mouth. In fact, human bite wounds are more likely to become infected than dog or cat bites. A doctor should check any human bite that breaks the skin.

What is the treatment for human bites?

Remain calm and reassure your child that you can help. Specific treatment for a human bite will be determined by your child's doctor. Treatment may include:

  • If the bite is bleeding, apply pressure to it with a clean bandage or towel to stop the bleeding.

  • Wash the wound with soap and water under pressure from a faucet for at least five minutes, but do not scrub, as this may bruise the tissue.

  • Dry the wound and cover it with a sterile dressing. Do not use tape or butterfly bandages to close the wound, as this could trap harmful bacteria in the wound.

  • Many times, human bites are treated with antibiotics to prevent infection. Call your child's doctor to find out if additional treatment or a tetanus booster is needed.

 

Online Source: American Academy of Orthoepaedic Surgeonshttp://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00003
Online Source: American Academy of Pediatricshttp://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/prevention/Pages/Prevent-Bite-Wounds.aspx
Online Source: Soft Tissue Infections Due to Human Bites, Initial Management of Animal and Human Bites, Up to Datehttp://www.uptodate.com
Online Editor: Geller, Arlene
Online Medical Reviewer: Gomez, Wanda, RN, Ph.D.
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 4/29/2013
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.