Dogs are the most common pet in the United States. While the properly cared for and trained dog can be a great companion, there are some dogs that can pose a terrible threat to children. Unfortunately, it isn't always easy to spot a potentially dangerous dog, especially for children.
More than 4.7 million people are victims of dog bites each year, with nearly 800,000 of the bites requiring medical attention.
Children ages 5-9 are at the greatest risk for encountering a dog bite related injury, and boys are at a significantly higher injury rate than girls.
The following is a list of basic safety tips to teach children. Compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, these experts believe the rate of dog bites can be significantly reduced by teaching basic principles:
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog
- Do not run from a dog and scream
- Remain still when an unfamiliar dog approaches
- If a dog knocks you down, roll in to a ball and be still
- Report stray dogs or dogs acting strangely to an adult immediately
- Avoid direct eye contact with a dog
- Do not wake a dog that is sleeping or taking care of puppies
- Do not approach a dog that is eating
- Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see you and sniff you first
- If bitten by a dog, immediately report the dog bite to an adult.
Learn more about how to deal with a dog bite or dog attack.