Each year millions of children under 10 years old are bitten by dogs. Dog attack injuries to children range from mild nips that barely break the skin to bites that require reconstructive surgery. Some attacks even lead to death. Well over 4 million people suffer dog bites each year. Children are at greatest risk for dog attacks and bites, as evidenced by the statistic that dog bite-related injuries are highest for children ages 5-9. While most dogs that attack children are family dogs already familiar with the child, there are also many cases where children are attacked by strangers’ dogs. When dogs attack children, the child can suffer minor or severe injuries, requiring emergency room treatment and many times leaving permanent scars. Sadly, many children die from dog attacks. In fact, during the first 6 months of 2014, 22 people were killed by dog bites in the United State, 10 of whom were children ranging in age from 10 months to 5 years.
Stopping a dog attack
When some types of dogs attack, such as pit bulls, they use their strong jaws to grab onto the victim and hold on tightly. With a small child the dog may then shake the child back and forth. The best strategy for forcing the dog to let go of the child is to pry its mouth open with a stick. As a stick may not be immediately available and time would be of the essence, a more expedient method would be to somehow subdue the dog by hitting it with something. Doing so would either wound the dog such that it would release the child, or it would turn the dog’s attention away from the dog and perhaps onto you. There have been instances in which an attacking dog has been shot by the police or by someone else in order to save a child or other victim.
Teaching your child how to react to an attack could save their life and reduce the possibilities of major injuries. The first reaction of most people when a dog runs toward them is to run away from the dog. This is the opposite of what should be done. Instead, the child should stand completely still and avoid eye contact with the dog. The dog is likely to then calm down. If the dog does knock the child down, the child should curb up into a ball, covering his or her face, and remain still. Even if the dog does bite, it will have a harder time biting crucial areas such as the thighs or abdomen, which can lead to a higher rate of blood loss if wounded.
A vicious dog attack can result in serious injury to a small child. Deep wounds may cause a significant amount of blood loss in a short period of time. A dog bite to the abdomen may result in organ damage and significant internal bleeding. Of course, even a relatively minor bite will likely cause a child significant pain. For these reasons, it is critical to quickly stop the attack and get a wounded child emergency medical attention immediately. Even if the bite is mild, you should make sure your child receives medical attention, as a dog bite could become infected. If the dog is unfamiliar and you do not know whether or not it has received all of its immunizations, rabies therapy may be required.
Liability for dog bite
If your child is victim of a dog attack, the owner of the dog may be civilly liable for your child’s injuries. This means that the dog owner may be required to pay for your child’s medical expenses as well as additional compensation such as for pain and suffering.
If your child has been injured by a dog bite, contact Avrek Law Firm Dog Bite Lawyers serving Orange County California.
Avrek Law Firm
9180 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, California 92618