According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Of the estimated 800,000 who seek medical attention, half of them are children. A child’s inherent curiosity can lead to danger when he or she is left with a dog unsupervised. Injuries from animal attacks can be extremely severe and often require extensive medical treatment and care. The root of most dog bites is aggression – if a dog feels threatened in any way, it resorts to lashing out at the cause of the threat. When it comes down to protecting your child from a dog bite, prevention is key.
How do I prevent a dog bite from happening?
Although you can’t read a dog’s mind, you can read its body language. Dogs that are feeling threatened or anxious will display a wide range of signs that can serve as a warning. If you see that a dog is flicking its tongue and growling with a tense body and stiff tail, under no circumstances should you let your child approach it. If your child sees a dog that he or she wants to pet, you should always get permission from the owner. If the owner agrees, have your child gently hold out his or her hand for the dog to sniff. Properly introducing your child to a dog can help cultivate an environment for positive interaction.
You should also avoid negative interaction between the dog and the child. Examples of negative interaction can include:
- Disturbing a dog while its sleeping, eating, or tending to puppies
- Wrapping the dog in a tight hug
- Sneaking up on a dog
For the past 12 years, the dedicated Boston dog bite lawyers at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. have continuously strived to exceed client’s expectations by giving them trusted legal counsel when they need it most. Our legal team proudly represents clients throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Call (781) 262-3338 today to learn how we can help.