Dog bites can pierce skin, break bones and spread disease. Even wounds that appear minor can become easily infected. Everyone should try to avoid being bitten by a dog, but it maybe especially important for parents to help protect children from dog bites.
This is because children are especially vulnerable to dog bites. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children are bitten more often than adults, and the wounds are often more severe than what adults experience.
Why do dogs bite children?
Children may be bitten more often than adults because they do not yet understand dog body language. Also, they may not yet realize that even a beloved family pet can bite.
Some of the main causes for dogs biting include:
- Territorial behavior
Dogs can also bite when they perceive a child’s behavior as a threat. This may include the child pulling the dogs tail or ears, trying to ride the dog or trying to dress up the dog.
How to prevent a dog from biting my child?
Any dog can bite. This means that if your child is young, the best way to protect him or her is to always supervise your child when he or she is around a dog. This may seem extreme if your family owns a generally well-behaved dog. However, over half of all dog bite injuries occur at the victim’s home with a familiar dog.
As your child ages, consider teaching appropriate ways to interact with a dog. This can mean teaching your child to pet the dog nicely or throw the ball for the dog. However, it is also important to point out behaviors that should be avoided, as well as body language that may indicate it is time to leave the dog alone.
If a dog bites a child, it can be a painful and traumatizing event. Dog bite wounds often require immediate medical care, and depending on the severity of the injuries, extensive medical care may be necessary.
However, if someone else’s dog injured your child, you may be able to receive compensation for your child’s medical expenses and other costs associated with the injuries. Your family should not need to suffer because of someone else’s dangerous pet.