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MINERVA PEDIATRICA

A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
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Minerva Pediatrica 2002 June;54(3):237-42

language: Italian

Dog bites in children less than fourteen years old in Turin

Savino F., Gallo E., Serraino P., Oggero R., Silvestro L., Mussa G. C.


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Background. The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiology of injuries caused by dog bites treated in the emergency department of OIRM from January 1, 1997 to December 31, 2000.
Methods. Data on dog's attacks were obtained from declaration forms filled in the emergency department.
Results. 253 children were observed: 145 boys and 118 girls. The mean age was 6.4 years. The peak incidence was in children aged 3 to 8 years old. Fifty-six children (22.31%) required admission to the hospital. Thirty-five were younger than 5 years. Injuries to the face (29.48%), hands (14.55%), legs (9.33%) were more common. The prognosis was 5 (18.97%), 7 (21.74%) and 10 (16.6%) days. Twenty-five children had prognosis over fifteen days (9.88%). Children aged 5 or younger presented most face and hand lesions while children aged 6 to 14 years had most hand, legs and arms injuries. Tetanus and rabies prophylaxis were administered only in 4 and 2 cases respectively, while immunoglobulin anti tetanus were administered in 5 children. The great number of attacks occurred during the summer months, with a peak in June and July.
Conclusions. More attention should be paid to the prevention of dog bites. Pediatricians should advice parents about the risks of interactions with dogs.

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