Most children love puppies and dogs. They cannot help themselves from running up to a dog to pet the dog. However, children are at the highest risk for a dog bite according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It is not just strange dogs that bite children. Over one-half of the dog bites children sustain are from dogs that they know. When dogs bite children, their injuries tend to be more severe. Learning how to avoid a dog bite can prevent permanent injuries and a lifetime of fear of animals.
Safety Tips for Preventing a Dog Bite
The CDC has a great list of do’s and don’ts for avoiding dog bites. Parents should work with their children to teach them each of these safety precautions. Parents may want to use a toy dog to practice the correct way to interact with a dog with their child. It may appear to be a game; however, practice can help a child remember what to do in a dangerous situation. Even a dog that they are familiar with and may have seen numerous times should be treated in the same way as the child would treat a dog they see at the park, the grocery store, or in someone else’s home.
Dog Safety Tips for Children
- Never pet a dog without the owner’s permission, even a dog that you have seen several times. Always allow the dog to sniff the back of your hand before petting the dog.
- If you see a strange dog without an owner, tell an adult immediately.
- Puppies are previous, but they should be left alone when they are with their mother. Do not reach for a puppy until an adult gives you permission.
- Do not bother dogs when they are sleeping or eating. Dogs do not want to be frightened when they are asleep, and they may attack if you scream or scare them. Dogs also do not want you to take their food.
- If a dog knocks you down, curl up like a ball with your chin on your chest and put your hands over your neck and ears.
- Do not run from a dog. Slowly back away from the animal until you reach a safe place.
- If a strange dog approaches you, do not scream or make loud noises. Instead, say in a very firm, deep voice “Go Home” and “No.” Turn so that your side faces the dog instead of directly facing the animal. Avoid eye contact with the dog and slowly raise your hands to cover your neck until you can slowly back away or the dog passes.
For More Information
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has additional safety tips on its website. You may also want to take a look at some of the resources available for teaching children about safety. The Family Dog, Doggone Safe, and The University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine have information, videos, and materials on their websites to teach kids about dog safety.
Contact an Indianapolis Dog Bite Attorney for Help
If a dog injures your child, seek immediate medical attention. A minor dog bite can quickly turn into a serious medical condition if left untreated. It is also a good idea to speak with an Indianapolis dog bite attorney to learn about your child’s rights after a dog attack or dog bite.
Contact the PBAR legal team by calling 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to request your free consultation with an Indianapolis dog bite attorney.