How can you protect your child from dog bites?

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2021 | Firm News

The majority of dog bites that occur affect kids aged 14 and younger. As a result, parents must ensure their children know what to do – and what not to do – when around canines.

While it is the responsibility of the dog’s owner to keep their pet secure, this is not always the case. By doing the following, your children will lower their risk of a dog attack.

Approach unfamiliar dogs carefully

Children are naturally curious about dogs, so they may approach canines they see on the street. Make sure they understand the proper way to approach an unfamiliar dog, which should start with asking the owner if the dog is OK to pet. If so, your child should gently and slowly extend their hand to allow the dog to sniff it. If the owner says not to pet the dog, your child should heed their command.

Do not bother dogs when they are eating

Dogs can become very territorial, especially when it comes to food. That is why children should allow dogs to eat unbothered and not attempt to come up behind them while doing so. The dog may feel threatened and lash out at the child, which can result in a harmful bite. In the same respect, kids should not attempt to take a bone or treat out of a dog’s mouth for any reason.

Do not run away from dogs

There might come a time when your child encounters an aggressive dog without its owner present. While the first instinct is to run, this will trigger the animal’s predatory response. Instead, your child should stay put and refrain from making direct eye contact with the dog. Then, while watching the dog’s movements carefully, your child should back away slowly.

If an unfamiliar dog bites your child, they must receive immediate medical intervention. Take down as much information about the pet and the owner and bring it to your doctor. Your child may need a tetanus shot or might even require a rabies vaccine if there is a high risk.