Animal bites and scratches that break the skin can sometimes cause infection. Some bites need stitches while others heal on their own.
Rarely, bites from wild animals can lead to rabies, a life-threatening infection. Bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes cause most rabies cases.
If your child needs treatment, have the following information on hand:
Many animal bites can be prevented. Always keep a close eye on young kids around animals, even pets. Teach kids not to tease pets, to handle them gently, and to stay away from wild or stray animals.