According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of the nearly 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually are children. That's not good news. It’s wonderful for kids to form friendships with dogs. However, children, especially those ages 10 and below, are most vulnerable to dog attacks. That's because they are smaller and easier for dogs to grab with their mouths. Believe it or not, the irony is that children are usually bitten by dogs that know them – their family dog or a neighbor’s dog.
What should you do if your child has been bitten by a dog?
If your child is bitten by a dog, the first thing to do is to seek medical attention. Animal bites can become infected fast, especially if the bite broke through their skin. Your child may also need counseling or be assessed for emotional stress. Make sure to monitor your kid’s behavior after the incident. This will give you an idea of how the dog bite accident affected them mentally.
If your child, or anyone for that matter, is bitten by a dog, try and find out whether the dog has been vaccinated. In order to find this out, you will need to locate and talk to the owner. Also, gather information about the dog’s history and behavior. For example, has the dog ever bitten anyone before? If the owner of the dog is a friend or a relative, follow the same procedure. Also, report the incident to the local health department, whether or not your kid was seriously injured. The case has to be recorded so the authorities can refer to the report should this incident happen with the same dog again. Your report can serve as a basis for taking further action. If the case requires police investigation, you will be informed.
What should I do if my dog bites someone?
If your own dog bites or attacks someone, you should help the victim if you can. You should then report the accident to the local animal control department. They will ask you questions about the attack. You will want to monitor your dog more closely, even if they have never attacked anyone before. Dogs can attack when they are not provoked, so it's a good idea to see how your dog reacts to certain situations. Also, if you know your dog is uncomfortable at certain events, like a firework show, please leave them at home. You don't want a fun night to turn into a lawsuit.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I suggest that you always be on the lookout for aggressive dogs. You should also keep your children away from any dog that has bitten or attacked someone in the community. If you feel a dog is a problem, you may inform the police about your concern. Dogs are great pets. We should all have the opportunity to enjoy them without having to worry about them attacking our loved ones. Please always monitor you dog. It’ll help keep them in line and hopefully decrease the number of dog bites.