People often think of dog bites as rare events. This may be because so many households have dogs as pets, and so people tend to think of all dogs as calm, loving animals. And, while it is true that most are, that does not mean bites are uncommon. The reality is that they happen often, especially to children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tracked the statistics. As reported by the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, dog bites pose a greater threat to general health for children than:
- Playground injuries
- Bike accidents
- Whooping cough, mumps and measles combined
- Skateboard injuries
- ATV injuries
- Moped injuries
That’s probably surprising to a lot of parents, who may bend over backward to make sure their child knows how to ride a bike safely and has all of the proper safety gear, such as a helmet. At the same time, they may never really teach the child how to interact with dogs. The reality is that, although bike safety is obviously important, safety around dogs should also be taught.
This is especially true for boys who range in age from five years old to nine years old. These are the most common victims of dog bites, which often impact the head, neck and face. A child’s short stature plays into this, and they may also not be strong enough to fend off the dog.
If your child gets bitten by someone else’s dog, especially if it is not contained in a yard or if it is off-leash for a walk, make sure you are well aware of the rights you have to compensation.