It's no surprise that half of dog attack injuries happen to children. The small size of a child, and his/her underestimation of how dangerous a cute dog can be, are two of the biggest factors in dog attacks involving youngsters. In addition, the seriousness of a child's injury will often increase the younger the age due to their inability to fend off the animal.
An important factor to be mindful of is the fact that a dog can be dangerous in any environment. It's not just strays, or visibly vicious dogs that are responsible for bites. Some of the worst offenders are dogs that have no history of aggressive behavior and are house pets in the homes of friends, relatives, and neighbors.
5 Tips to Help Protect Your Children from Dog Bites
The following dog bite prevention tips are a good starter guide to keeping children safe from dog bites and changing potentially dangerous behavior into behavior that an animal doesn't consider threatening or hostile.
- First and foremost, be sure that your child understands that they are to NEVER approach a strange dog, even if it is on a leash or with its owner. Any dog can be unpredictable, and a dog that you are not familiar with (and that is not familiar with you) can be even more dangerous.
- Teach your child that dogs are not for roughhousing, and that dogs, like humans, have sensitive areas.
- Dogs may lash out if their fur is pulled, if their skin is pinched, if their ears or tails are pulled, or if their eyes are poked. Keep very young children away from all dogs altogether, as they are not old enough to understand how to properly pet a dog.
- Let your children know that dogs can be protective of their possessions and may lash out if someone takes them away. Be especially careful about touching or approaching a dog if it is eating, playing with a toy, or protecting its puppies. A dog that is usually friendly may bite in these situations.
- Tell your children never to tease a dog, even if it is confined in a fenced yard or chained to a post. Agitated dogs can break chains and jump fences, leading to serious dog attacks and dog bite injuries.
If your child was attacked by a dog and suffered injuries that required medical attention, it's possible you may have a case against the dog owner. However, before you speak to the insurance company you should know that dog bite cases can be extremely difficult to pursue without an attorney due to their willingness to accept liability for the attack and offering a value that is fair for the injuries your child sustained.
Our Indianapolis dog bite lawyers have handled hundreds of dog bite claims throughout the state and are available to speak to you at no cost. Our consultations are always free for dog bite victims and their families, and there is never a fee for our legal services unless we make a recovery on your behalf.