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Children and Dog Bites

An article published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery revealed that 313 patients, including 183 children, had suffered at least one dog bite that required emergency medical treatment. The most common injured area was the central target area, which is comprised of the cheeks, nose, and lips; eye injuries include the inner and outer corners of the eye, eyelids, eyebrows, eye sockets, and tear duct systems.

Injuries in Children

It was also found that children are more at risk for getting bites on the face, neck, or head. Children are also more likely to be taken to hospitals and be treated in operating rooms. Eyes injuries are common in children, especially in infants and children up to the age of four. The body structure of children may be a reason for their vulnerability, young children have larger head-to-body ratios, shorter heights, and larger eyes.

The way children and dogs interact could also be a factor. Other studies report that dogs may regard children as either threats or playmates at a certain eye level, and that dogs have an instinct to bite the face.

A Warning from the CDC

The CDC states that there are close to 800,000 dog bites that require medical attention every year, and 334,000 need hospital care. Over half of dog bite victims are children, and 26 percent of them require medical treatment. The CDC also emphasized that more children suffer from dog bites than whooping cough, measles, and mumps combined; they are more common than playground injuries, bike accidents, and ATV crashes.

Dog bites are most likely to happen in a victim’s home or at the home of a friend, though they can happen in public places, like sidewalks, beaches, and parks. The highest incidences occur in boys between the ages of five and nine.

Safety Measures

The study also stressed that children should not be at eye level with dogs, even if they are familiar with them and under adult supervision. Children should also be taught to avoid risky behaviors, such as playing rough, squeezing, kissing, startling the dog, and interfering with the dog’s food. Kids may be unaware that their actions are inappropriate, and the dog could feel threatened.

Innocent behaviors can lead to serious injuries when children are not careful with their pets. When a dog bite occurs, the first thing to do is to call 911 for emergency medical care or head to the closest emergency room. It is also important to identify the dog’s owner or whoever was responsible for the dog’s care at the time. Proof of a rabies vaccination should also be obtained, otherwise the victim may need to get rabies shots. A dog bite report should be filed with  the proper authorities, and the child’s parent or caregiver should gather information about the dog and owner. It is important to take photos of the injuries, keep records of doctor visits and medical expenses, and contact a knowledgeable dog bite attorney.

Atlantic City Dog Bite Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Represent Dog Bite Victims

Serious dog bites can be traumatic and medical treatment can be costly, it best to speak to an experienced attorney about your options. Our compassionate Atlantic City dog bite injury lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm will help you with your case. Contact us online or call us at 609-926-3300 for a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.