Each year in the United States, close to 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. Half of all of these incidents involve a dog biting a child. In fact, it is estimated that fifty percent of children in the United States will suffer from a dog bite reaching age 12. Since most dog bites occur from a dog that is known to the child, it is important to teach children how to safely interact with all dogs. The following tips can decrease the likelihood of your child being bitten by a dog, whether it be the dog of a friend, neighbor, or your own:
- Always ask first before petting a dog: Never touch a strange dog without first obtaining the owner's permission. Certain dogs can be very protective of their owners or are just not comfortable around children. To ensure the encounter is a positive one, ask the owner before petting his or her dog.
- Allow the dog to sniff you: If the dog's owner has given the child the green light to pet the dog, first allow the dog to sniff your child's hand. This gesture allows the dog to become comfortable with the child before the child reaches for the dog.
- No staring contests: Making direct eye contact with a dog can be taken as an aggressive action. Therefore, avoid staring down the dog.
- Never touch a dog without the owner being present: Whether a dog is running lose or playing in its fenced in yard, contact should not be made without the owner's permission.
- Do not touch a dog that is sleeping, eating or with puppies: Dogs can be become very territorial with food or their pups. A dog that is sleeping could be caught off guard by your actions.
If your family is considering bringing a dog into your home, the following are a few ways to help keep everyone safe:
- Do your homework: Before selecting a dog to bring into your home take the time to research dog breeds. Avoid selecting a dog on its looks alone. All breeds of dogs are different and not every breed of dog is right for every family. If young children live in the home, make sure to select a breed or individual dog that is non-aggressive. If you are unsure about which breeds are aggressive talk with a reputable breeder or contact your local animal shelter.
- Spay or Neuter: Make sure to have to have your new dog spayed or neutered, which can reduce a dog's aggressive tendencies.
- Attend obedience school/training: To prevent your dog from biting or displaying aggressive behaviors, enroll your pup in obedience training. At classes, dogs will learn submissive behaviors such as rolling over to expose their belly and releasing food from their mouth without growling.
- Keep a close eye on your dog: Do not allow your dog to play with unsupervised around children. If you are worried about your dog's aggressive tendencies be sure that your dog is on a leash or kept in a fenced in area. If out for a walk, be sure to not allow strangers to approach your dog. You can also utilize a muzzle.
In the event you or your child is bitten by a dog, cleanse the wound thoroughly with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention. You should also report the incident to your local animal control agency. Also consider speaking with a qualified dog bite attorney to help you learn more about your legal options and, to hold the dog owner accountable for causing you or your child harm.
If you or a loved was killed or suffered serious injuries after being bitten by a dog, contact theHyland Law Firm, LLC today at 913-498-1911 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. For more than two decades, experienced attorney Charles Hyland has successfully helped injury victims and their families obtain the compensation and justice they deserve. Trust the Hyland Law Firm to fight for your rights.
This entry was posted on Friday, November 1st, 2013 at 9:10 pm and is filed under Personal Injury. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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