The Importance of Educating Children on Animal Safety
Unfortunately, of the more than 4.5 dog bites that are reported each year in the U.S., the Humane Society estimates over half of the dog bite victims are children.
The American Veterinary Medical Association reported that of the children who are bitten, the highest rate occurs to those between the ages of five and nine and is the second most frequent cause of emergency department visits for all children.
Because of their size and inability to escape dangerous biting or attacking circumstances, children are also more likely than adults to suffer severe injuries from dog bites.
Our New Mexico personal injury attorneys have a few tips for helping kids safely adjust to new pets, familiar dogs, and those they encounter as they continue to grow and understand the dangers of interacting with animals.
Child Safety Tips for Interacting with All Dogs
Since both pets and children are unpredictable, adults must pay close attention to any interaction between the two, to ensure both are kept safe during their time together.
Some of the most important safety tips for children interacting with dogs include:
- Always supervise children around any dog —including those they know and are familiar with
- Never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies
- Always ask for permission before petting a dog
- Never allow a child to put their face near a dog’s face
- Always teach children to read a dog’s body language and behaviors, so they can identify potential dangers before it is too late
- Never lean over a dog
- Always talk to a dog using a friendly voice
- Never approach a familiar or strange dog, instead, let the dog come to you
- Always introduce a child to a dog slowly, so the dog can understand they are not a threat
Parents, pet owners, and other adults must teach children how to interact with pets safely, as most dog bites affecting young children happen while interacting with familiar dogs. In fact, just over 77% of biting dogs belong to the victim’s friend or family member.
Has Your Child Been Bitten by a Dog in New Mexico?
If you or your child have been bitten by a dog in New Mexico, contact experienced personal injury lawyers in Las Cruces at the Law Office of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. by calling (575) 526-5263 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your injuries.
Homeowner insurers paid more than $854 million in dog bite-related liability claims last year alone, according to the Insurance Information Institute, which means your family member or friend will not be personally responsible for the financial recovery necessary to get the medical care you need to fully heal. Call us today to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the best outcome for your unique personal injuries.