According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dog bites affect 4.5 million Americans each year. While only 20 percent of dog bites require medical attention, dog bites can cause serious injury and disfigurement and can entitle the victim to substantial compensation. About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year; of the people who are bitten around 885,000 require medical attention for their injuries. In 2006, at least 31,000 people had to have reconstructive surgery as the result of their dog bite injuries.
The groups most at risk include children, adult men, and people who keep dogs in their home.
- Children – the rates of dog bites is the greatest for children aged from 5 to 9 years old. In addition, children are more likely to require medical attention for dog bites than adults.
- Males – on average, men are more likely to be bitten than women
- People with dogs in the household – Among all age groups, having a dog in the home is directly correlated with an increase in dog bites. For adults with two or more dogs in the home, the risk of sustaining a dog bite increases five-fold.
Dog bite prevention
In general, dog bites are easily prevented by taking appropriate measures. Both children and adults can take steps to avoid dog bites. The CDC recommends the following steps to reduce the risk of sustaining a dog bite:
- Request the advice of a professional to determine what breed would be the best fit for your household and situation
- If there are children in the household, avoid breeds with a history of aggression
- Be aware of cues that indicate that a child is afraid of dogs. If there is a child in your household that is afraid of dogs, wait before bringing a dog into your home
- Before committing to adopting or purchasing a dog, be sure to spend time with the dog.
- If you have an infant or toddler in your household, use extreme caution before adopting or purchasing a dog.
Advice for children
Children need guidance when learning how to deal with dogs. If you are a parent or a caregiver, be sure to advise children as to how to behave around animals The CDC recommends the following safety tips for children:
- Avoid approaching an unfamiliar dog
- Do not run away from a dog or yell
- Try and remain motionless when approached by a dog you have not met
- If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball and stay still
- Always be supervised by an adult when playing with a dog
- Report stray dogs or dogs acting strangely to police
- Do not engage in direct eye contact with a dog
- Avoid dogs that are sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies
- Do not initiate contact with a dog
- If bitten, immediately inform an adult
Contact a Fayette County injury attorney for a consultation
If you have been injured by a dog bite or other accident, you should have your case reviewed by an experienced Fayette County personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Shane Smith is a law firm dedicated to representing the rights of the injured. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Atlanta personal injury attorneys, call us today at (770) 484-8999.