How to Protect Your Children from Dog Bites
Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post on how to protect your children from dog bites.
With children spending most of their time in the parks and playing outside with their friends, it’s important to think about their safety. While most people think that dogs are harmless, records available suggest otherwise.
A dog can inflict serious injuries including large bite wounds and deep scratches. In most cases, dog bites get infected and pose serious health risks. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 4.7 million people in America are bitten by dogs every year with most of them being children.
This report further noted that almost two-thirds of these cases occur on the neck and the head. This often requires very expensive plastic surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2020 alone, over 28,500 reconstructive surgeries were done to repair dog bite-related damages. As compared to the previous year, this was a 6 per cent increase.
Even the best dog is likely to bite when surprised or startled. As compared to adults, children are more likely to provoke dogs. Since they are not able to discern, they may easily approach strange dogs. They may disturb dogs that are sleeping or eating by making loud noises before running away. It’s, therefore, very important to protect your children from dogs by teaching them how to behave in the presence of both familiar and unfamiliar dogs.
Teach Them How To Pat a Dog Safely
Even if the dog is friendly, teach your child to ask for permission before petting it. Most importantly, inform him that touching a dog that’s sleeping is quite dangerous. If they startle him, he will feel threatened and this might make him bite in self-defense.
Your child should also avoid hugging or kissing a dog around his neck. This will not only bring his face close to the dog’s but also make the dog very uncomfortable.
Teach Them How to Behave in the Presence of Dogs
If you have old children who can be trained on how to behave in the presence of dogs, here are a few tricks that they may need to learn:
- Don’t run away from an aggressive dog
- Avoid making eye contact with an aggressive dog and keep still
- Use an umbrella, bag, or bike as a barrier between yourself and your dog. This will distract them
- When knocked down by a dog, roll on your stomach and use your hands to cover your ears and nape
Supervise Your Kids at All Times
While dogs can seem harmless, they can easily attack when threatened. Having said this, you need to supervise your children at all times. Make sure they don’t behave in a way that might threaten the dogs. Remember, even the smallest breed or the friendliest dog can still bite as a way of defending themselves.
Know Your Dog’s Personality
If you are looking for a dog to adopt, choose wisely as far as personality and temperament is concerned. The best dogs are the ones that have been bred as family pets. If you want to know more about the dog, find out about the personality of their parents and their breed types.
The best places to look for a dog are human societies, pet speciality shops, and SPCAs. Since most of these organizations evaluate dogs, they will help you choose a dog that matches your lifestyle. Your veterinarian can also guide you through the process.
Train Your Dog Well
If your pup has never been trained on self-control and basic behaviours, consider hiring a trainer or enrolling him in obedience classes. While training your dog, socialize him with new people, children, places, items, and sounds. A dog with positive experiences with children, new people and places is less likely to display aggressive behaviours.
What to Do If Your Child is Bitten by a Dog
If your dog bites your child, do not overreact. Instead, place him in another room and wait for things to calm down. After assessing the injury, seek medical attention. If the dog is a strange dog, contact an injury attorney. If worse comes to worst, a reputable dog bite attorney like The Dominguez Firm can help you in getting the owner liable for the harm caused by the dog.
Going forward, do not punish the dog. Since the dog will not associate the punishment with the act, he may end up becoming more aggressive.
Whether you have a dog or you are considering welcoming one to your home, they can be one of your best friends. Besides being a wonderful addition to your family, they will provide you and your children with the best companionship. But for this to happen, you must cultivate a loving and respectful relationship between your children and the dog. Although it can be challenging, you have a lot to gain if you are focused.
If you have an aggressive dog, it’s your responsibility to protect your children. Never allow your child to be in a place where he can be bitten by the dog. Also, teach your children and dogs how they can properly relate so they can enjoy a safe and wonderful relationship.