Written by Emmanuel Ogbeche

KIDS AND HEALTH

It's a good idea to always tell an adult if you get injured. You'll especially want to tell a parent or another adult if you cut yourself on something dirty or rusty, if you are bleeding, or if you get bitten or scratched (by an animal or a person!).

Bites and scratches may need special care because germs from the animal or person might have gotten into the wound. The doctor might prescribe an antibiotic medicine to prevent infection. And if you were bitten or scratched by an animal, your mom or dad will need to make sure the animal didn't have rabies, a dangerous virus.

Certain cuts or bites could develop into tetanus, another serious illness. Your parent will need to check your medical records and be sure that you have had a tetanus shot recently.

Sometimes, a cut, scratch, or abrasion starts out as no big deal, but then gets infected. An infection happens when there are too many germs for your body's white blood cells and immune system to handle.

Infected wounds may hurt, look red and swollen, feel warm to touch, or contain pus, which is a yellowish or greenish thick liquid. Infected wounds also can cause a fever. If your cut, scratch, or abrasion looks infected, tell your parent. You may need to see a doctor for antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

Luckily, most cuts, scratches, and abrasions will go away on their own, thanks to your body's amazing ability to heal itself. From kidshealth.org.

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