How Parents Can Protect Their Children from Dog Bites

Dogs are an integral part of many American homes. With their playful attitudes and pleasant dispositions, it’s no surprise that thousands of people in the U.S. consider their beloved pets as part of the family. Dogs make for great companions. However, despite their lovely attitudes, there are moments when dogs become scared or provoked and easily turn aggressive. When this happens, a family’s beloved mutt can be a threat to the health and safety of their neighbors.

About a year back, news of how a young boy from Bakersfield, California was attacked by their neighbor’s dog became widely spread. Footage showing the incident became viral because the family’s cat was able to successfully drive away the aggressive dog and save the 4-year-old from more serious injuries. Unfortunately, not all children are saved from dog bites in the same way. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of dog bite victims are children. Because children are often unable to understand a dog’s body language and reactions, they do not become mindful of when it’s time to stay clear of an already aggressive or threatened dog.

Parents can protect their children from attacks by making sure they are properly supervised when playing outdoors, or when they are around or interacting with dogs. It’s also important that parents teach their kids some safety precautions that can help them avoid injury. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offer several suggestions that can help keep children safe from dog bites. One of the most important tips they offer is to make sure your kid understands the potential danger of petting or approaching a stray, a dog that’s off its leash, or stranger’s dog without permission.

Despite these precautions, the accountability for a dog’s aggressive behavior ultimately rests on its owner. All pet owners should make sure that their dogs are properly trained. They also have to make sure their dogs are properly contained within their own property, and that visitors to their homes are free from harm. As pointed out by the website of McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm, dog bites caused within a person’s home or property can be considered a premises liability case and could merit the victim compensation through proper legal channels.