How to Protect Children From Dog Bites
Children and dogs can co-exist peacefully outdoors in summer with a few lessons in prevention and caution
- Children Love Dogs
- Never Approach a Strange Dog
- Ask Permission Before Petting Dogs
- Walk, Don’t Run
- Treat Dog Bites Promptly
Children Love Dogs
As the temperature increases, so does the risk of children being bitten by a dog. Both children and animals are outdoors more during warmer weather, and likelihood of the two parties coming into contact with each other increases.
Children have a natural curiosity and fascination with dogs and instinctively want to touch any dog they see. Unfortunately, a child’s stature make them vulnerable to severe dog bites around the face, head and neck areas when a dog feels threatened or is unreceptive to a child’s touch. Protect children from dog bites with these tips.
Never Approach a Strange Dog
Teach children to never approach a strange dog, or even a dog they are familiar with under certain circumstances. Children can’t discern a dog’s body language and a wagging tail does not always indicate the dog is receptive to a stranger’s touch.
Approaching a strange dog that is behind a fence, on a leash or roaming free can make the dog feel threatened and put him in attack mode.
A familiar dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for pups should not be approached by a child either. Startling a sleeping dog can end with a child being bitten, and dogs instinctively protect their food and pups and may attack even a child they know well.
Ask Permission Before Petting Dogs
If a dog owner and dog are encountered while outdoors, teach children to ask the dog owner permission before petting. The owner will know if the dog likes to be petted by children or not and can show the child how to pet their dog.
Walk, Don’t Run
If children encounter a stray dog without an owner in sight, trying to run past the stray dog may cause the dog to become excited and aggressive. Teach children to walk past the dog with as much distance between them as possible to avoid agitating the dog.
Treat Dog Bites Promptly
Even the most docile and well behaved family dog is subject to biting someone under the right conditions. If a child is dog bitten, see a doctor. A minor dog bite needs a doctor’s attention since the puncture wound made by the bite can easily become infected. The bacteria from the dog’s teeth enter the puncture wound made by the bite can cause a serious infection if left untreated.
Children and dogs can co-exist peacefully in summer with a few lessons in caution. Never approach a dog, ask the dog owner’s permission and walk past a strange dog instead of running. In the worst case scenario, if a child is dog bitten, see a doctor immediately no matter how small the puncture wound might be.
*Originally written and published by me on Suite101.