Dog Bite Injuries Can be Serious and Disabling; Prevention is the Key
Mark BelloMay 09, 2010 9:45 AM
Dog bites are not all that well recognized as being a health problem, but if you look at the statistics involving the number of people who did get bitten, you’ll understand this area of the law is a lot larger and with more serious consequences than you might have thought. The bad part about dog bites is that most of the victims are children and while some of them sustain non-threatening bites, or bites that are relatively minor, the impact it has on the child for life is profound.
Some areas of the US are making an effort to implement heftier and much stricter fines for those who don’t have their dog properly under control, on a leash, unlicensed or not fenced properly. In many communities dog owners whose canines did haul off and bite someone find themselves even facing jail sentences. Interestingly enough, there is little education available to teach people why dogs bite or how to monitor their canine with safety in mind.
There are certainly ways to minimize the risk of being bit by a dog. Here is what the CDC recommends for children to avoid being bitten by a dog:
Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
Do not run from a dog or scream.
Remain motionless (e.g., "be still like a tree") when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., "be still like a log").
Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.
And here is what the CDC recommends before bringing a dog into your home:
The general rule of thumb is that every loose dog has the potential to bite. Owners really must keep their animals under control, properly socialize them, choose appropriate breeds for their level of experience and family composition and keep the animal up to date on vet care. If you have been bitten and needed surgery, stitches, medications, therapy or have been permanently scarred, you should consider speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer.
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