May 17 -23 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
According to the AVMA, 4.7 million Americans will be bitten by a dog this year. 500,000 to 800,000 of those people will require medical attention. About 12 people a year die from dog bites.
At the top of the victim list is children, followed by U.S. postal workers.
More dog bites occur to children in the summer months, presumably because children spend more time with their puppies and dogs in the summer.
There are several things we can do to prevent dog bites to children.
Tips for Children:
- never approach strange dogs
- always ask permission before petting a neighbor’s dog
- do not disturb dogs that are caring for puppies, sleeping, resting, or eating
- never reach for a dog that is under a bed or piece of furniture
- avoid running and screaming near dogs
- all food that falls on the floor belongs to the dog
- avoid wrestling with a dog or puppy
- look for warning signs such as lip curling and growling
- never leave a child and dog together, unattended
- socialize the dog
- keep the dog current with vaccinations and medical treatment
- obedience train the dog
- closely supervise all interactions between children and dogs