Keeping Children “Dog Bite Free” This Summer

Summer time means taking evening walks, weekends at the beach, and camping trips with the family–and with pets. With more dogs out in public, there is an increased chance of dog bites and animal attacks. This summer, it is best to be aware of the danger of dog bites to protect yourself and your children. If you are a dog owner, you should also be aware of children and other animals that could incite your dog.

A dog bite can cause serious injury, including lacerations puncture wounds, loss of limb, permanent muscle damage, facial scarring, and other lasting injuries. In addition to physical injuries, many victims will suffer from emotional trauma, requiring professional help. Our Charleston child injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting victims and raising awareness to prevent dog bites and injuries.

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Children are at an especially high risk of suffering from dog bite injuries and animal attacks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of the 800,000 Americans seeking medical attention each year for dog bites are children. Children are more curious and can be more threatening to animals, especially if their movements are erratic or if they face dogs at eye level.

If you have children, be sure to teach them how to safely approach animals to prevent injury. Many children do not realize how quickly a dog can snap a chain, jump a fence, or break away from an owner. It is best to keep your children safe by keeping them informed. Animal Care and Control advise to teach children to respect animals and their space. Children should never tease a dog, even if they are behind a fence or on a chain. Here are some other tips to prevent animal bites and dog bite attacks.

Children and adults should be cautious about strange dogs. You should always treat pets with respect and approach them with care. Always wait to ask an owner if they can be touched and approach them carefully. Some safety advocates advise allowing a dog to smell your hand before petting it.

Small children should never be left alone with animals. Even dogs without a history of bites can become agitated around children. Dangerous and deadly dog attacks have occurred in only a few months.

Know proper animal defense. You should always avoid unfamiliar dogs, but if you are approached, you should know how to protect yourself and your children. If you are approached, stay still. In most cases the dog will leave once it is able to determine that you are not a threat.

Never run away because dogs could see this as a threat and they are trained to run and chase. You should also never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. In these instances dogs may be irritable and sensitive and any unwanted advances could provoke a bite.

As a dog owner, you also have a duty to prevent bites this summer. Avoid riling up your dog or getting your dog excited. You should always use a leash when bringing your dog in public. Warn children and their parents if your dog is not used to being approached. Keep your dog healthy, keep up with vaccinations and make sure to spay or neuter your pet to prevent bad behavior.

If your child has suffered an injury, contact our South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Kids’ chemical injuries down, but may rise in summer, May 7, 2013, By Kerry Grens, Reuters

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Anderson Injury Risk With High-Powered Magnets, CPCS Warns, May 6, 2013, Spartanburg Injury Lawyer Blog

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