Dog attacks actually happen quite frequently, and most involve children. Minor nips and bites are rarely reported, but the CDC reveals that approximately 4.5 million people report being bitten by dogs annually. The vast majority of these cases can be avoided, especially when they involve children. Read the tips below to avoid dog attacks and keep your kids safe. If your child has been bitten or attacked by a dog, contact a Boston injury lawyer today.
Tips to Prevent Dog Attacks
- Children should never approach an unknown dog. It doesn’t matter if the dog is a teacup chihuahua wearing a pink, crocheted hat. Any dog can bite, and even small dogs can cause serious damage. If you see a loose dog wandering around, leave the area immediately.
- Children should never yell at, hit, or run away from a dog. In most dog attack cases involving children, the child was either trying to engage in innocent play, or purposely tormenting the dog. Even innocent play can seem threatening to a dog. A young child may think it’s funny to call for a dog, then run away. Unfortunately, this behavior may cause some dogs to chase and bite.
- If your child wants to pet an unknown dog whose owner is present, teach him or her to ask permission before making contact with the dog.
- Teach your child that if an aggressive dog is approaching, it is best to quietly, slowly, and confidently walk away. Do not run. Running is often an instinctive action, but it can cause the dog to become more aggressive and chase.
- Children should never approach a dog that’s eating. Many dogs have food aggression issues, and even those who do not can become instinctively nervous when eating.
- Teach children to always use gentle behavior, even with the family pet. It’s not uncommon for family pets to behave differently as they get older, or if they are injured or not feeling well. Just because Fido has always tolerated little Jimmy’s wrestling, it doesn’t mean he’ll never bite. Not to mention, teaching children to be nice to animals is simply the right thing to do.
If your child has been bitten or attacked by a dog, seek medical attention immediately. This is true even if the wound is relatively minor. If skin is broken, the wound can become infected. If possible, record the name and address of the owner. Take pictures of the injuries immediately following the incident. Also, take follow-up pictures several hours after the incident and for the first few days after the incident to document the severity of the injury and how it is healing. If your child has been bitten by a dog, contact a MA injury attorney today.
Dog Bite Statistics:
- Costs related to dog bites exceed $1 billion annually in the US.
- Approximately 350,000 emergency department visits are due to dog bites every year.
- In 2015, 35 people were fatally injured by dog attacks in the US.
- More than 28,000 reconstructive surgeries were performed due to dog bites, in 2015.
- After children, postal workers and the elderly are most likely to get bitten by dogs.
- More than 50 percent of dog bites occur on the owner’s property.
- About 77 percent of dog bites come from the family dog, or the dog of a friend.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Personal Injury Law Firm
If you have been injured in any type of accident, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. Most dog attacks are preventable. If you or your child was injured by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Don’t go through this alone. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP for a free and confidential consultation about your case.