According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 36% of households in the United States include at least one dog. Many households have more than one dog. Some of these households also include children. Because children are the victims in 59% of those dog-bite incidents, it is important to teach children how to relate to dogs.
Preventing Dog Bites
Children from 5 to 9 years old are at the highest risk for dog bites. These children are vulnerable because they have not been taught to be careful of dogs. They assume, as in cartoons, that all dogs are their friends. Unfortunately, they are sometimes tragically wrong.
If a child follows these four rules, the risk of a dog bite will be substantially lessened:
- Don’t run-up to a dog you don’t know. Let the dog come to you.
- Before you try to pet a dog, let the dog sniff you. If the dog seems friendly, you may hold out your hand, slowly, with the palm down for more sniffing.
- Don’t surprise a dog that is eating, sleeping or nursing its pups.
- If a hostile dog approaches, hold still. Do not run! A dog will chase you by instinct.
Injuries from Dog Bites
The most traumatic injuries from dog bites require emergency room treatment and plastic surgery. Some even require treatment for possible rabies, an uncommon yet very dangerous virus. But even a mere puncture wound can lead to infections, including from germs that live in the dog’s mouth, and even MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant staph infection.
Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the top ten most dangerous dog breeds are German Shepherds, mixed breeds, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Jack Russell Terriers, Chow Chows, Spaniels, Collies, Saint Bernards and Labrador Retrievers.
If you or your child is bitten by a dog, call an ambulance if necessary. Otherwise, wash the wound with soap and water, apply an antibiotic cream and cover with a clean bandage. If signs of infection appear, make an appointment with your health-care provider. Then, consider seeing an Atlanta dog bite lawyer at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers. Many homeowner’s insurance policies cover dog-bite injuries.
Seth Bader is an Auto accident, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.