For children, few moments can compare to the joy experienced when interacting with a playful dog. While children spend most of their time with parents and friends, there is just something special interacting with an excitable, energetic, and fuzzy bundle of joy.
However, while most dogs – especially those that have been well-trained – can be safe play companions for children, dog interactions still carry the risk of bites. Here are five lessons you can teach your children to help them stay safe and avoid a traumatizing attack:
5 Tips for Fun and Safe Dog Interactions for Children
1. Ask Before You Interact
Before approaching or attempting to pet an unknown dog, parents and children should ask the dog’s owner for permission to do so. The owner will most likely say yes, but he or she may also say that the dog is skittish or has a tendency to nip at children.
2. Let the Dog Know You are Ready to Play
Dogs that are not expecting to interact are more likely to react unfavorably – either by attacking or attempting to run away. Both can put children at risk for injury. Make sure your children approach dogs head-on, and that they act calmly and cautiously until the dog understands that it is time to play.
3. Don’t Roughhouse
While some dogs like to roughhouse, (i) some dogs don’t, and (ii) roughhousing with a large dog can be dangerous for a small child. Generally speaking, children’s interactions with dogs should be gentle, and should be limited to closely-supervised play.
4. Keep Hands Away from Mouths
If a dog likes to play fetch, make sure your children do not attempt to pull the ball from the dog’s mouth. Teach your children the appropriate “drop” command; or, if the dog will not drop the ball, make sure you (or another adult) are the one to get the dog to release the ball.
5. Know What to Do if a Dog Becomes Aggressive
Finally, make sure your child (and you) know how to react when a dog becomes aggressive. You can find some useful information on The Humane Society’s website: How to Avoid a Dog Bite.
What to Do if Your Child is Bitten by a Dog
If your child has been bitten by a dog, there are some steps you should try to take right away. Dog bites can be both expensive and emotionally traumatizing, and parents can help limit the consequences of a dog bite by filing a claim for just compensation. To learn what you can do to protect your family after a dog attack, I encourage you to read:
Dog Bite? Call for VIP Treatment from Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers
If your child has been bitten by a dog in Palm Beach County, the legal team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers will provide your entire family with VIP treatment while helping you Demand More® for your losses. To get started with a free, no-obligation consultation, call 561.202.MORE(6673) now.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. If you need advice on specific legal issues, please consult with a licensed Personal Injury attorney.