Ninety percent of dog or cat bites are done by family pets. Two of every three bites occur to children younger than age 15.
Teach your child how to be responsible around your family pet. This includes never teasing it, never bothering it while eating or sleeping and never letting a stranger come pet it.
Also, teach your child what to do if she sees an unfamiliar dog or cat:
Make sure your pet has its current set of shots each year. Always supervise a small child around your pet, even if the child is yours.
If your child is bitten by a dog or cat:
Minnesota is home to two kinds of poisonous (venomous) snakes.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Massasauga and Timber rattlesnake are found only in southeastern Minnesota. Both types of snake are protected by law. Their bites rarely cause death.
If your child is bitten by a snake, the American Red Cross advises you do the following.
Wash the bite area well.
Keep the bite area below your child's heart, if possible.
If your child is stung by a bee, wasp or hornet, do not squeeze your child's skin to remove the stinger. Scrape away the stinger with your fingernail, credit card or tweezers.
If your child is stung and faints, has swelling at the sting site or gets hives, call your health care provider right away. Your child may be having an allergic reaction. If your child has trouble breathing, call 911.
When your family spends time in wooded areas, you may find an uninvited guest on your child's body - a tick.
There are many different kinds of ticks in Minnesota. Only one, the deer tick, can cause Lyme disease.
Choose a DEET concentration up to 30 percent for children who are 2 months old or older.
If you find a tick in your child's skin, follow these steps:
Do not use matches, kerosene, nail polish, petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline®) or any other product to get the tick out of your child's skin.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic