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Keeping children safe around dogs

NewsPersonal Injury   June 24, 2016

Being bitten by a dog can be serious for anyone, particularly children. Since children are smaller they may suffer more damage from a dog bite than an adult. There have even been cases where children have died following a dog attack. The best way to avoid being bitten is to stay away from dogs, but that’s not realistic for many people. Children like to pet dogs, and having a pet can bring a lot of joy in life. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the risk.

Prevention is the Most Important Issue

Preventing your child from being bitten by the family dog or another person’s dog is important. Parents and caregivers should remember that dogs often react to what others are doing around them. Some breeds are also more nervous than others. To help prevent your children from being bitten by a dog, make sure you research the breed before you choose a family pet, and get one with a good temperament. Also teach your child what not to do to the dog, including:

  • Poking the animal
  • Placing their face in the dog’s face
  • Pulling its tail

You Can’t Control Other People’s Dogs

Even if your children are good with your dog and the dog is good with them, they will almost inevitably interact with other dogs as they grow up. Because they may have friends with dogs, or they may encounter them in the park, or other places where people can walk their pets, teaching your children caution matters. They need to avoid approaching other dogs, and should not run up to any dog. They should also be taught to avoid doing anything to frighten an unfamiliar dog.

An Attorney May Be Able to Help if Your Child is Bitten

Sometimes children are bitten even if they are very careful and haven’t done anything to provoke a dog. If your child was bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be entitled to compensation for those injuries. The dog’s owner could be at fault if they didn’t properly restrain their dog, or if they have trained it to attack or be aggressive. An attorney can advise you on your legal rights and determine whether you may have a case based on your specific situation.