Millions of people are bitten by dogs every year, and more than half of the victims are children. Unfortunately, kids are more likely to suffer serious injuries in canine attacks. However, there are a number of things you can do to protect your child.
Tips on How to Help Your Child Avoid a Dog Bite Injury
Prevention and understanding are two essential aspects for helping your child learn to safely interact with animals. It might be surprising to know that not all dog bites are caused by strangers' pets—they often happen with animals you know, such as those of a family member, friend, or even your own pooch.
Here's what you can do:
- If you're getting a dog as a pet, take time to understand breeds and their characteristics so you can get the right canine companion for your family. Your responsibility as a dog owner is to make certain it gets all required shots and checkups to stay healthy, and train it so it responds to commands and knows how to act around adults and children.
- Don't ever leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
- Teach your child not to bother a dog that is sleeping, eating, or taking care of puppies, because it's more likely to be startled or defensive in these situations.
- Have your child always ask a dog’s owner to pet their dog, no matter how friendly it seems. While petting, make sure your child understands what it means to be gentle and to avoid the animal's face, head, and tail.
- Your child should also know not to approach stray dogs or any animals running loose.
- Don't let your child play tug-of-war, wrestling, or other aggressive games with a dog—these actions also put an animal on the defensive.
- Your child should walk away from an aggressive dog. If they can't do this, instruct him to remain still like a tree with his head down and hands low. He should also avoid eye contact with the dog.
- If a dog jumps on and knocks over your child, make sure they know to curl up in a ball, face down, with fists and arms around their head to protect their face and eyes.
Unfortunately, even with all you've taught them, your child might still be hurt in a dog attack. If this happens, California law states that you must report the incident, and the dog's owner and any other negligent parties are responsible for providing injury compensation.
I'm an experienced dog bite attorney who can negotiate a fair settlement and help you follow the proper legal procedures. Call my office or start a live chat to schedule a free consultation today.