How to Protect Your Child from a Dog Bite Injury
We often refer to dogs as man’s best friend, but unfortunately, not everyone treats their dogs with the respect and care that they deserve. When a dog is neglected or abused, it can become aggressive to anyone–even small children. Kids who don’t know better may approach any dog as if it were his or her own. The consequences of this can be disastrous. Teach your children some basic safety tips so they don’t end up injured by an aggressive dog. If you or your child has suffered an injury as a result of being bitten by a dog, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced dog bite injury lawyers for a free legal consultation and or case evaluation.
Exercise Caution Around Unfamiliar Dogs
It’s not uncommon for children to run up to a dog for a nuzzle, especially if they have pets at home. Tell your children to exercise caution and avoid unfamiliar dogs. If you happen upon a stray dog, don’t approach it. Leave the area, and consider alerting animal control. If you’re out and see a dog on a leash, teach your kids to ask the owner for permission before petting a dog. Never pet a dog without asking first, even if it’s a pet you recognize from the neighborhood.
When it comes to approaching animals, confidence is your best friend. Urge your children to remain confident and strong if an aggressive dog approaches them. The most effective method, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, is to “be a tree.” Tell your kids to stand tall with hands clasped in front of them with head down as if looking at their feet. If they’re knocked down by a dog, teach them to curl into a ball in a defensive position. Avoid making the situation worse by yelling, hitting, running, or making other sudden movements towards the dog.
Scale Your Lessons to Their Maturity Level
An older kid may understand that a dog’s body language can convey their intentions, but a preschooler won’t. Tailor your lessons according to their ability to process information. For younger children, focus on the idea of playing gently while communicating that dogs have likes and dislikes just like people do. Grade school-aged children may be able to read a dog’s body language to decipher the animal’s emotional state.
Respect Their Need for Space
Talk to your kids about your dog’s need for privacy. Never disturb a dog when he or she is eating, sleeping, or in a crate. Teach your children that these are “off-limit” areas. Kids also need to learn that dogs will play with them when they want to, and when they’re done playing, they’re to be left alone. Encourage your children to let pets have their own time, just as they do.
As a parent, responsibility for your children’s welfare falls ultimately falls to you. Teach your kids to be smart and safe with their interactions with dogs, from discouraging teasing to applauding good pet behavior. Always monitor your children’s interaction with pets under a watchful eye, especially if you have toddlers and preschoolers. Never allow a pet into a child’s room unsupervised.
It’s a good idea to give kids some responsibility in a pet’s care, as long as that responsibility is appropriate for their age level. A preschooler may be able to fill the food bowl at mealtimes, for example, but only an older child should be permitted to take the family dog on walks. Don’t expect your kids to take on too much responsibility too soon–the simple act of teaching respectful interaction will set them up for a future as a responsible pet owner.
Dog Bite Personal Injury Claims
Despite your best intentions, children may still find themselves in a situation where they sustain a bite or other injury from a dog. If you believe that their injury was due to someone else’s negligence, contact our personal injury lawyers in Savannah, GA for a free legal consultation and or case evaluation with some of the most experienced and successful Savannah premises liability attorneys in the state of Georgia.