Animal Bite Injuries in Children: Review of Literature and Case Series

Int J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2017 Jan-Mar;10(1):67-72. doi: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-1410. Epub 2017 Feb 27.


Introduction: Maxillofacial region in children is particularly vulnerable to animal bite injuries. These injuries may range from insignificant scratches to life-threatening neck and facial injuries. Children are the common victims, particularly of dog bites.

Materials and methods: Three cases of animal bite injuries in children with their clinical presentation and their management are being presented along with review of literature. Surgical management included cleansing and primary closure of the wound. Rabies and tetanus prophylaxis were given.

Discussion: The most common site of injury was the face. For the facial injuries, the most frequently affected area was the middle third (55%), also called as the "central target area." The small stature of children, the disproportionate size of the head relative to the body, their willingness to bring their faces close to the animal, and limited motor skills to provide defense are believed to account for this. The resulting soft-tissue injuries can vary in relation to their extent. Treatment involved initial surgical exploration, and secondary repair later depending on the severity of the injury.

Conclusion: Prompt assessment and treatment can prevent most bite wound complications. Early management of such injuries usually guarantees satisfactory outcome. Prevention strategies include close supervision of child-dog interactions, better reporting of bites, etc.

How to cite this article: Agrawal A, Kumar P, Singhal R, Singh V, Bhagol A. Animal Bite Injuries in Children: Review of Literature and Case Series. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2017;10(1):67-72.

Keywords: Animal bite injuries; Dog bites; Facial trauma..

Publication types

  • Review