As many as 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, many of those people are also children.
Many children love dogs and so they approach the animal without a second thought. This can be dangerous because not every dog is friendly and, even if they are, a child can easily do something to trigger a dog to attack.
For this reason, consider the following ways you can help to protect your child from dog bites in the future.
Teach your child how to react to a strange dog
It’s one thing for your child to interact with a puppy in the living room of your own house and another for your child to approach a dog they don’t know. Because children can have a lot of energy, their behavior (such as running toward the dog) can make a strange dog feel defensive and unsafe.
Teach your child never to approach a strange dog and to ask the dog’s owner from a safe distance if it’s alright to pet the dog. Additionally, teach your child to remain calm and still if they’re approached by a dog they don’t know.
A child can make a dog anxious by yelling and can activate the dog’s prey drive by running. Should the dog knock your child down, it’s important for them to roll into a ball and to protect their head and neck with their arms.
Report strange behavior
Another thing to remember, both for your child and for you, is to report strange behavior you may see in a dog. A strange dog in the street showing erratic behavior may be a sign of rabies.
A strange dog running around in a yard or other area without supervision may also be a sign of aggression or anxiety. Teach your child to tell a trusted adult about the dog in these situations and to never approach the dog.
Additionally, if your child does get bitten by a dog, it’s important your child knows to come tell you. This is because dog bites often require medical attention, especially when they’re puncture wounds.
If you or your child have suffered from dog bites, it may be in your best interest to contact a dog bite lawyer. Dog bite lawyers have the professional experience to help you navigate both your claim and lawsuit so you can get the justice you deserve. For more information, contact a dog bite attorney at Stipp Law Firm today for a consultation.