This week, April 9-15, has been designated as National Dog Bite Prevention Week. With over 70 million dogs living in households in America, dog bites are inevitable. This week, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) would like to raise awareness among the dog owners and educate others so we can prevent dog bites together.
According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury to children ages 1-4, 9th for ages 5-9 and 10th for ages 10-14 from 2003-2912. Insurance companies have paid over $483 million in dog bite claims in 2013 alone! Each year more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. Many dog bite victims need plastic surgery to fix their wounds. Children are the most common dog bite victims and get more injured due to their size and lack of defense. It is important for all dog owners to properly train and socialize their pet prior to bringing them out in the community.
Once you have adopted a dog, it is important to create a socialization plan. This plan will allow your dog to enjoy human interaction and feel comfortable around other animals. The socialization will begin between 3 and 14 weeks.
- Plan regular exposures to other animals, individuals, and environments
- Provide praise, play and treats to reward engagement
Why it is important to teach your children how to avoid a dog bite
It is important to educate your children about dogs and cats at an early age. They simply need to understand that even though they are pets—they are animals too. Most children dog bite victims do not understand what ‘gentle’ means, and they have a scar to show for it. Children tend to think all dogs react the same, it is vital to remind them to avoid all unknown dogs. It is extremely important to teach them to ask the owner if they can pet the dog first. Some dogs may be in special training or are already known to be aggressive. Many dogs get protective of their owners, and if they are approached unwanted or unknowingly they may, in turn, bite back. Educate children at a level they can understand. Don’t expect young children to be able to accurately read a dogs’ body language. It is important to teach your kids at an early age, to not tease a dog with their treats, toys, or while they are eating. Many dogs do get protective over these items.
If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, in San Diego, along with the Central Coast or in any of the surrounding communities, contact the skilled and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation today.