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 healthcare provider 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 discussed with you by your child's healthcare provider. 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 5 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 healthcare provider to find out if additional treatment or a tetanus booster is needed.

Print Source: Initial Management of Animal and Human Bites. UpToDate
Print Source: Soft Tissue Infections Due to Human Bites. UpToDate
Online Source: Human Bites, American Academy of Orthoepaedic Surgeonshttp://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00003
Online Source: Prevent Bite Wounds, American Academy of Pediatricshttps://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/prevention/Pages/Prevent-Bite-Wounds.aspx
Online Editor: Geller, Arlene
Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora C., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Finke, Amy, RN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2016
© 2000-2016 The StayWell Company, LLC. 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.