How To Protect Children From Dog Bites
The reason many children get bitten by dogs is sheer proximity. Children are typically face level with dogs and that can lead to a bite. In America, close to five million people get bitten by dogs annually — more than half of those are children, this is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even the friendliest of family dogs may bite if he is surprised, scared or startled by a child. Children can certainly be taught to approach the family dog with care and to keep their face out of the dog’s face, but let’s face it (no pun intended) kids will be kids and they love their dogs.
It’s up to parents and caregivers to protect children and to help prevent dog bites. Here are some tips to help keep children safe and stop your family dog, or a stranger’s dog, from biting, scarring and scaring your child for life.
- Never pet a strange dog unless you ask the owner for permission. Their dog may not be child-friendly or accustomed to children, so always ask first.
- Keep children’s faces out of dog’s faces. It may sound impossible, but be diligent with this may prevent a bite. Looking straight into a dog’s eyes is taken as a threat by many dogs and can lead to a bite.
- Teach children to move slowly around dogs and to not startle them.
- Don’t let children fight and wrestle and play aggressive games with dogs as this could lead to an unintentional bite.
- Train your dog. Take your dog to training classes, socialize him with people and other dogs and this could prevent bites.
- Never leave a child alone with a dog. To a dog, a baby or small child is an unknown intruder and if startled, the dog could bite and cause serious injury.
- Teach your children to not startle a sleeping dog or try to take away his food or a toy.
- Depending on the breed of do you own, teach your children not to run past him. A large breed, instinctual hunter may see a running child as “prey” and give chase.
- Teach a child to not hug a dog. Many dogs don’t like being hugged around the neck and may bite out of fear from the embrace.
Common sense should always be the rule when it comes to children and dogs. No one wants their child to undergo the trauma a dog bite will bring. Protect the child by teaching them to respect dogs.
If a dog does attack, teach your child that he should roll up into a ball and protect his eyes and face. If your child is bitten, wash the wound with warm, soapy water then seek medical attention.
Dog owners can protect themselves, their finances and their life savings from being depleted if a dog bites someone by investing in dog bite insurance.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.