Children are more vulnerable to dog bites and animal attacks than adults. That is because they are smaller. When a child gets attacked or bitten by an animal, they often suffer from face and neck injuries. These injuries can be treated and healed, but the emotional stress of these attacks could last a lifetime. The children could also develop a fear of dogs. If you see that your child has become afraid of dogs, then try to help them overcome their fear after the dog bite accident.
How to help your child's fear of dogs
Being attacked by a dog is scary, especially for a child. They may not show their fear right away, but we need to be there for them. Here are some tips on how you can help your child if they were attacked and have a fear of dogs:
- Start talking to your child about the incident and comfort them. Acknowledge your child’s fear of dogs and use appropriate words to comfort them. You must accept the fact that the dog bite has changed your child’s perception toward dogs. They may always think that a dog will bite them, or that dogs are not nice at all. Your words can influence your child’s thinking and may change their view of dogs. For instance, if you and your child have seen a dog near your house, and you need to go outside, you can try telling your child, “I know that dog scares you. I will hold your hand as we walk past the dog together.” That will help your child feel more secure and protected.
- Educate your children. Teach your children how to properly handle animals and discuss what their body language means. Help your child realize how some animals, like dogs and cats, get nervous and defensive when they are touched and provoked. If your child knows how to safely approach an animal, and they do so successfully, they will build confidence.
- Seek treatment and therapy. It is also important to report the animal attack and see a doctor as soon as you can. Animal attacks are serious. The sooner you report the accident, the more likely it will be to contain the animal and make sure the animal isn't carrying any harmful diseases.
If your child has been a victim of a dog bite here in Kentucky, please make sure to get checked by a doctor immediately. You will also want to contact your local animal control so they can find and test the dog for diseases. If you feel that legal action is necessary, contact a personal injury attorney to know what your options are for your case.