Posted on May 22, 2017 15:09

Summer is swiftly approaching and folks are heading for the great outdoors.  Communing with nature and enjoying the sight and sounds of God’s creatures living around us.  Animals, insects, spiders, and snakes to name just a few.  Be prepared this summer for the occasional bite by learning some essential steps recommended by the American Red Cross.

If you suspect a bite from a dog, cat, or human being, look for a bite mark and assess for bleeding or pain.  Remember to check under clothing if pain or bleeding appears on covered body parts or clothing.

If bleeding is minor, use a barrier such as a clean dry cloth or bandage and apply direct pressure to control bleeding.  Wash the wound with soap and water and rinse for five minutes with clear warm running tap water.  Apply an antibiotic ointment unless the bitten person is allergic to it.  Cover the wound with a sterile dressing and bandage.

Get medical attention if the wound becomes infected or if you suspect the offending animal has rabies. If you suspect rabies, call local authorities.  Rabid animals may drool, appear partially paralyzed or act aggressively or strangely.  Do not approach the animal.

The St. Charles City Animal Control phone number on weekdays is 636-949-3395 or 636-949-3396. Nights, weekends, and holidays call the Police Department at 636-949-3300; ask them to notify Animal Control.  Animal Control personnel will respond to emergency calls such as bite cases and aggressive dogs before or after business hours.

Call 9-1-1 if bleeding cannot be stopped, if skin or body parts have been partially or completely torn away, or if large or deeply embedded objects are in the wound.  Do not try to remove the object.  Place sterile dressing around the object to support the object in place.  Continue to apply direct pressure to bleeding and add additional bandages as needed.

Call your health care provider or seek care at an urgent care center if the bite mark shows muscles or bones, involves joints, are deep, or are on the face, hands, or feet.

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