Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the United States, but along with all of the positive aspects of owning a dog, there is a downside. Millions of Americans are bitten by dogs each year according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and young children are especially at risk for both serious injuries and wrongful death resulting from dog bites. The good news is that many dog bite injuries are preventable, and whether your family owns a dog or simply comes into contact with dogs on a regular basis, the following are some preventative measures you can take to keep your children from becoming victims.
Think carefully before adopting a dog. Before you decide to bring a dog into your household, you should research common behaviors of different breeds and learn about a dog’s personal history to ensure that the one you choose is a good fit for a home with young children. You should also make sure that you have the time and ability to properly train a dog and educate your children on dog ownership so as to minimize the potential for a bite.
Supervise your children when a dog is around. If you have a dog in your home, you should always supervise its interactions with your children or guests. The same is true for other dogs you and your kids may encounter throughout the day, for example, at a park or on a walk. Supervision is especially important for infants and very young children who have not yet learned how to behave around dogs.
Educate your children about appropriate behavior. If you own a dog, this is a great opportunity for you to teach your children proper behavior around dogs, but it is still important to educate them even if you do not have a dog in your household. Important lessons include allowing a dog to sniff you before trying to pet it; making sure not to bother a dog who is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies; and avoiding making loud noises and sudden movements when a dog is around.
Be wary of unfamiliar dogs. Your children may get excited about seeing a new dog in public, but it is always best to take precautions around dogs you do not know. You should tell your children to avoid unfamiliar dogs when the owner is not around and to ask before petting if the owner is present. Even dogs that appear friendly or harmless could bite your children if they feel startled or threatened.
If you or your children are bitten by a dog, you should clean the wound as soon as possible to prevent infection, and seek medical attention if the wound appears serious. You should also report the bite to the police department and try to contact the dog’s owner, if possible, to determine whether you may be at risk of rabies.
Contact a Naperville Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
If a dog bite injury requires medical attention or seems likely to have other adverse impacts on the lives of you or your children, you should contact a DuPage County personal injury attorney who can help you seek compensation for damages. At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we offer free consultations for injury victims to help you determine the best course of action. Call us today at 630-755-6426 to schedule your appointment.