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The STS blog

Dog Bites
14 Mar 2016

Once bitten twice shy

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In case you missed it; Diego Costa, the placid and calm-tempered Chelsea striker, has been accused of biting an opponent. We are not here to discuss whether he did or didn’t, but more a case of how to treat a bite… whether from an uncontrolled dog, venomous spider, or international premier league footballers – it may pay to know how to treat a bite.

Whilst some may snigger at the thought of Diego Costa sinking his teeth into another players neck, the truth is that bite injuries can be very painful. Whether the nibble comes from a human, insect or animal, the big danger is the risk of bacterial infection.

Medical advice

Animals have millions and millions of bacteria in their mouths, which can rapidly infect an injury following a bite. (Of course, the main culprits here are dogs; there are a reported 200,000 people a year bitten in England.)

Human bites also carry a significant risk of infection, and you should always seek medical advice unless the wound is very minor. There isn’t a childrens’ nursery in the land that doesn’t have a case of biting at some point. Children biting 2

Insect bites are generally less serious, but it’s still a good idea to put an ice pack on the affected area to reduce swelling – and watch out for signs of an allergic reaction. Have a supply of anti-histamine in stock is always a good idea; albeit not in your first aid kit at work.

(There are still many reports of few unlucky people having horrible reactions to bites from venomous false widow spidersfake spider


How to treat a bite injury

1. Wash the bite area thoroughly with warm soapy water to reduce the risk of infection.
2. Pat dry with sterile gauze swabs.
3. Cover the wound with a sterile dressing.
4. Seek further medical advice if the wound is large or deep or if you are worried.

Follow these steps and you should be fine. The main point is to be wary in potentially risky areas, such as dog-filled parks, damp woodland,  areas of long grass and Premiership football stadiums!