CDC reports children most common victim of dog bites

Dogs often make wonderful family pets. They can provide a play companion to keep up with energetic children and provide a judgment-free partner to listen to story after story when young ones are learning to read. As enjoyable as a dog’s company can be, visits can lead to tragic dog bite incidents if precautions are not taken.

This lesson was learned the hard way by one family when their young son was brutally attacked by a dog. The parents take responsibility for the attack, stating that they should have been more responsive to the dog’s ample warnings. The mother states she thought she had the situation under control. So, instead of responding to the growling, baring teeth and dog’s repeated attempts to remove itself from the young one’s overzealous attention, she trusted that the dog would not do any real harm.

Ultimately, the dog attacked the child. The dog bit both the toddler’s nose and cheek, leaving a two inch gash in the young one’s face. The toddler was rushed to the hospital to receive multiple stitches and treatment to help ensure that the wound would not become infected. The child now has a scar across his face that will likely remain for the rest of his life.

Dog attack statistics

Unfortunately, similar stories of dogs attacking children are not uncommon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, over 4.7 million people are bitten by a dog every year. Of the 800,000 who choose to seek medical treatment for these bites, over half are children. This makes sense, since the CDC also reports children between the ages of 5 and 9 are at the highest risk of becoming victims of dog attacks.

The agency provides tips that can help reduce the risk of being bitten. These tips include:

  • Refrain from approaching an unfamiliar dog.
  • If a dog approaches you, be “still like a tree.”
  • Do not look directly into a dog’s eyes.
  • Do not approach a dog that is eating, sleeping or taking care of puppies.

Although following these tips can help reduce the risk of a dog bite, accidents can still happen.

Remedies are available for victims of dog bites

If a dog attack is the result of a dog owner’s negligence, compensation may be available to cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative expenses. Contact an experienced dog bite attorney to discuss your case and better ensure your legal rights are protected.