Every year in Texas and across the U.S., around 4 million people are bitten by dogs, and of these, an average of 800,000 go in for subsequent medical treatment. Parents of young children, in particular, will want to beware if they own a dog or come in contact with another person’s dog. Boys aged 5 to 9 see the highest rate of dog bites. In addition, in 70% of dog bite cases, the dog is known to the victim.
Parents can find many good tips online for preventing dog bites and ensuring healthy interactions between children and dogs. It starts with never petting a dog until one has the owner’s permission. A person should slowly extend their hand so that the dog can smell it. Children should pet gently and avoid anything that would provoke the dog, such as poking, pulling or pushing.
Children should learn about dogs’ body language and never pet when a dog is stiff, growls, has enlarged eyes or does not wag its tail. These behaviors could signify anxiety or aggression. Children should respect dogs’ “personal time” too and not bother a dog when it’s feeding or playing with a toy. The old saying “Let sleeping dogs lie” has truth to it and should not be overlooked.
Victims of dog bite injuries may not automatically be eligible for damages since there is the possibility that they were at fault. In other cases, though, such as when the owner failed to have the dog on a leash, there may be grounds for a personal injury case. Victims, or the family if the victim was a child, may want to speak with a lawyer before moving forward. The lawyer might hire investigators to strengthen the case with evidence.