Dogs bite people at an estimated rate of 4.5 million people per year. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of those bitten, about half are children. Dog bites can be very serious — even deadly, and most of them are preventable. You can teach your child to be cautious around dogs, and understand that even the most non-aggressive dogs can still bite when startled or surprised.
Two-thirds of dog bites to children occur in the face and neck, and they often require plastic surgery to fix. Because most dog bites are mostly from dogs familiar to the child, boundaries are usually overstepped. Educating your child and keeping a watchful eye may save them a traumatic experience. Here are some tips to protect your children from dog bites:
- If you haven’t gotten a dog yet, and have just had a child, you may want to hold off for a couple of years. Most experts say to wait until your kid has grown up until at least school age; this is around the time they learn boundaries and guidelines around animals.
- Speak to a veterinarian about what breed of dog may be best for your family. Energetic puppies are always cute, but many breeds can grow larger than you may be able to handle, and will need a lot of activities to keep them from getting too overactive or hyper.
- When you get your dog, make sure to train it and train it well. Make sure they learn to socialize, obey commands, get it vaccinated, and have it fixed; all of these in combination will help to decrease the likelihood of bites.
- If you had a dog before having a baby, you must be vigilant to watch out for your baby or small child around dogs. Make sure they avoid unfamiliar dogs, don’t scream at or play roughly with them, and don’t allow them to play without adult supervision.
- Make sure your child knows to never disturb a dog if it sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Teach your child to always ask permission from a dog’s owner if they can pet it, and let the dog sniff their hand first. Pet the dog gently and avoid the head, face, and tail.
- If you feel threatened by a dog, you must stay calm and avoid eye contact. Back slowly away or stand still until the dog leaves you alone.
If you or your child does suffer from a dog bite, it’s very important to call 911 and seek medical treatment. Dogs can carry bacteria that may require antibiotics or shots. They must be cleaned thoroughly, as they can lead to nasty infections. A doctor can also help you report the incident.
Dog owners can be held liable if their dog injures other people. If you, or your property, is injured or damaged, you can sue. You will want to hire an experienced dog bite attorney to handle your case. You may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and permanent injury.
If you or your child has suffered from a dog bite or attack, contact a dog bite lawyer Phoenix AZ respects, Alex & Associates We have been handling dog bites cases for over 37 years; please contact us for a free consultation by calling (602) 483-6114 or filling out a quick contact form here.