Children are the most susceptible to dog attacks for two reasons. One, because they are small and don’t understand the limitations a dog has or the warning signs they are about to bite. Two, because a dog can often do much more damage to a child during an attack than an adult. For these reasons, it’s critical that you teach your child how to avoid dog bites.
Here are several things you need to impart on your child to keep them safe around dogs in the neighborhood.
- Never approach a strange dog. Teach your child that if they don’t know the dog to stay away. Some dogs aren’t friendly and you often don’t know if they are or not, so it’s important to avoid the risk by staying away from dogs your child doesn’t know.
- Watch for warning signs that a dog is agitated. If a dog is upset or feels that it is in danger, it will exhibit warning signs such as laying its ears back against its head, lowering its head to the ground, growling, and baring its teeth. Teach your child to be aware of these signals and to never make eye contact in a situation like this – simply look down towards the ground and back away slowly.
- Never yell, hit, or approach a dog suddenly. Small children are notorious for “playing rough” with dogs, because they’re not aware of what is okay and what isn’t okay. Let your child know that hitting, yelling, or running at a dog is never okay – even if they’re playing – as this could agitate the dog and provoke an attack.
- Curl into a ball and cover the head and neck with arms if attacked. Teach your child that if they are in a situation where they’re attacked, to yell for help and immediately curl into a ball on the ground. They should cover their head and neck with their hands and arms and curl in on themselves so the dog cannot puncture their throat or vital organs when attacking. This also protects the face from bites and disfiguration.
Teaching your child how to avoid dog bites is crucial if there are dogs in your neighborhood or even if your family has a dog, because even the sweetest, most well trained dog can attack without warning.
If your child has been bitten or attacked by a dog, you may have legal recourse against the owner of the dog who hurt your child. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we can help you put together a claim for compensation aimed at helping you recover medical bills, lost wages from time out of work spent caring for your child, and the pain, and suffering your child has gone through and may continue to go through.
Call today for a consultation toll free at (855) 693-9084 or locally at (978) 744-8000 or contact us online.