Dog Bites and Children

It comes as no surprise that children have a great affinity for dogs. This affinity is often the driving factor in dog related child injuries. The CDC estimates that almost 5 million people a year are attacked by dogs, with 800,000 of these injuries affecting children. The CDC further estimates that 12 people a year die from being attacked by a dog. With the vast amount of children injured in this highly preventable manner, it is important that your child is protected if exposed to a canine.

The protection a child needs around a dog comes partly from physical oversight, and also through education. Young children are often unable to properly interpret dogs behavior. When a child is playing with a dog, they often overlook an aggressive stance or behavior. The dog will exhibit a defensive posture, while the unassuming child moves in to pet the animal. This often results in disaster. Depending on the age of your child, they may be at a point where they are not capable of interpreting various animal attack warning signs. In these cases, it is important that your child is always being watched if around a dog. When your child is of an appropriate age to understand the meanings of various canine behaviors, time should be spent to ensure they are aware of when it is acceptable to approach and when they should back off.

Children should be aware of some basic dog bite prevention guidelines: 1) Do not bother a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies; 2) Do not play aggressive games with a dog, ex. wrestling; 3) Do not approach unfamiliar dogs; 4) Remain motionless if you are approached by an unfamiliar dog, never running or screaming; and 5) If knocked down by a dog, remain still and in a ball. It is important to regularly review and teach children dog safety tips, especially if the child is regularly exposed to dogs.

If your child is bitten by another persons dog, it is important you immediately seek medical attention. Dogs are carriers of various ailments, such as rabies. If your child is bitten, you want to immediately ask the dog owner for documentation showing their pets vaccinations. It is important that wounds do not become infected and are properly cared for by the appropriate medical professionals. It is also important that when you arrive at the ER following a dog attack, you consult with a plastic surgeon to prevent unnecessary scarring which often accompanies this type of wound.

Missouri has now amended its dog bite laws. Missouri now provides additional protections to dog bite victims by holding dog owners responsible for all unprovoked attacks from their animal. This means that injured dog bite victims are entitled to reimbursement for all their harms and losses from the owner of the dog if the attack was unprovoked and the victim was not trespassing at the moment of attack. Should these two elements be satisfied, the dog owner is responsible to the victim.

Following a dog bite, victims are rightfully concerned with recovering and treating their injuries. This is the time, immediately following the attack, when vital evidence is often lost or destroyed. It is important that dog bite victims contact a Missouri dog bite lawyer immediately following an attack. A dog bite lawyer will be able to preserve evidence and prepare the legal side of your case while you focus on your recovery. Failure to contact a Missouri dog bite lawyer will result in large insurance corporations building a case in their favor. It is important that you have someone on your side fighting for you. If you have been injured by a dog bite, please contact Missouri Dog bite attorney Christopher Dixon at 1.314.409.7060.

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