Dog Bites 101: Teaching Your Children Safety around Dogs
Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the U.S., with nearly half of all Americans having at least one in their homes. Dogs are a familiar site throughout neighborhoods and parks, and while many of these furry creatures are sociable and friendly, there are some dogs with aggressive tendencies. The problem is it is often hard to make the distinction between these two types of dogs, especially for children. To prevent dog bites, and ensure the well-being of your children, it is important to teach your children how to be safe around dogs, whether the dog belongs to the neighbor or is your own family pet.
The most important dog safety tips you can teach your children include:
- Always ask before approaching a dog: Children, and adults, should remember to always ask the owner or handler for permission before approaching his/her dog. Many dogs get frightened and bite when they are approached suddenly, especially from behind. This goes for all dogs, not just those with aggressive tendencies.
- Never touch a sensitive area: Just like humans have places on their bodies where they prefer to not be touched, so do dogs. While it varies from dog to dog, generally it is best to teach your children to avoid touching sensitive areas of a dog’s body including the muzzle, ears, paws, or stomach. Encourage them instead to pet a dog at the base of the neck or on the back.
- Avoid loud noises and roughhousing: Dogs rarely enjoy roughhousing with humans, and even if they do, it’s generally with their adult owner. Remind children to never hit, slap, or chase any dog, or make extremely loud noises around dogs, as this can result in injury and emotional trauma.
In most cases, dog bites are entirely preventable when you or your children approach a dog with safety and respect in mind. If a member of your family has been injured from a dog bite, reach out to The Law Offices of Brian Brandt to request your free consultation.