Simple steps can shield children from dog bites

July 6, 2012
Simple steps can shield children from dog bites
Over 4.7 million people, mostly kids, are bitten every year, experts say.

(HealthDay) -- More than half of the 4.7 million people bitten by dogs in the United States annually are children under the age of 14.

Among children, the rate of dog-bite related injuries is highest among those aged 5 to 9, according to the U.S. .

To help protect kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers safety tips for and parents.

  • Choose a breed with a child-friendly reputation. You can never be 100 percent sure of how a dog is going to behave, but experts recommend breeds such as collies and labradors. Ask a about the typical behavior of certain breeds before bringing the dog home.
  • Socialize your dog by continuously exposing the animal to different people and other pets so it is comfortable in a variety of situations.
  • Train your dog to follow commands. Avoid aggressive games, such as wrestling or tug-of-war, which could reinforce bad behaviors.
  • Vaccinate your dog against and other diseases, and neuter your dog, which can decrease aggression.
  • Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
  • Teach children to exercise caution around dogs. Avoid running past dogs and pestering dogs while it's sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
  • Don't let your kids approach dogs without asking the owner's permission first. Children should allow dogs to sniff them first and avoid touching their face, head and tail.
  • If threatened by a dog, children should be told to remain calm, avoid and stand still until the dog leaves or back away slowly. If that doesn't work and they are knocked down, children should curl into a ball and protect their face with their hands.
Children who have been bitten by a dog should have their wound cleaned with soap and water. Larger wounds need immediate . If possible, contact the dog's veterinarian to check its vaccination records.

Explore further: Study: Hypoallergenic dogs not less allergic than other dogs

More information:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on how to prevent dog bites.


Related Stories

Recommended for you

Can nicotine protect the aging brain?

September 20, 2016

Everyone knows that tobacco products are bad for your health, and even the new e-cigarettes may have harmful toxins. However, according to research at Texas A&M, it turns out the nicotine itself—when given independently ...

Science can shape healthy city planning

September 23, 2016

Previous studies have shown a correlation between the design of cities and growing epidemics of injuries and non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. A three-part series published in The Lancet ...

50-country comparison of child and youth fitness levels

September 21, 2016

An international research team co-led from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the University of North Dakota studied the aerobic fitness levels of children and youth across 50 countries. The results are ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.