According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), half of the children in the United States will be the victim of a dog bite before their twelfth birthday. Many times, kids are injured by dogs they know—those of relatives, neighbors, or friends. Some of the bites are minor and do not result in a trip to the doctor or emergency room. Others may be serious and can cause pain, scars, and emotional trauma.
In order to prevent as many dog bites as possible, parents should teach kids the right way to behave around dogs. Kids taught to respect dogs, give them space, and heed the following nine rules suggested are less likely to suffer a traumatic dog bite:
- Play with dogs in the presence of an adult. Adults can supervise the play and make sure both the child and the dog are interacting safely. Further, the adult can determine when both have had enough playtime and need to separate for a while.
- Never stare directly into a dog’s eyes. Dogs read that as a confrontation and may become aggressive as a result.
- Never tease a dog behind a fence. It can frustrate them and make them aggressive.
- Stay away from a dog that is chained up. Dogs have a tendency to protect their territory and are more likely to bite when chained up.
- Do not go near a loose dog. Loose dogs may be hurt or frightened and may react aggressively when approached.
- Stand quietly if approached by a stray dog. If you need to get away, back away very slowly. If the dog attacks, roll into a ball on the ground and cover your face.
- Do not touch a sleeping dog. A dog may be aggressive if startled out of a sound sleep.
- Do not touch a dog that is eating. Dogs are very protective of their food and may become aggressive if you touch them or go near their food while they are eating.
- Ask permission from the owner before petting a dog. If the owner agrees, get permission from the dog by holding out your closed hand for the dog to sniff.
Dog bites can lead to severe physical injuries and scars—both emotional and physical. When kids are prepared with the safety guidelines listed above, they less likely to suffer a dog bite.
The lawyers at Russell & Lazarus are committed to promoting dog bite safety in and around Orange County. If a dog or some other animal has injured you or someone you love, contact an Orange County dog bite attorney at Russell & Lazarus for a free case review. The number is (949) 851-0222 and the call is free. Alternatively, you can also download a free copy of their book The Nuts and Bolts of Litigating a Personal Injury Claim for more information.