More than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs every year, as reported by American Humane. More than half of dog bite victims are children. Dogs attack children for a variety of reasons, and any dog is capable of biting under certain conditions. With more dogs seen in public places today, it is important to know what to do in case a dog bites your child.
How Do You Get Your Child to Safety When a Dog Attacks?
- The first thing to remember if a dog threatens or bites your child is to remain calm. Both the dog and your child will respond to your maintaining composure.
- Avoid any sudden movements such as waiving your arms or running toward or away from the dog. This type of behavior could alarm the dog further and cause it to be more aggressive. Do not yell or make loud noises for the same reason.
- Place a visual barrier between you and your child and the dog if possible. Use a blanket, bicycle, garbage can, umbrella, or whatever is at hand.
- Avoid making eye contact with the dog. It could be interpreted as a threat or a challenge.
- Slowly pick up your child if he or she is small enough. This will make it more difficult for the dog to reach the child or bite the child on the head or neck.
- Do not pull away if the dog bites down and won’t let go. Lean into the dog instead to reduce the risk of injury from tearing.
- Fight back to protect your child and yourself only if you must. Target soft tissue areas, such as the ears or eyes if you must use physical force against the dog.
- Do not turn your back on the dog, once the situation is under control.
What Should You Do After a Dog Attack?
When dogs bite children, they tend to target the face, head, and neck. Injuries can be serious and may require plastic surgery. Take the following steps to get your child medical and emotional assistance after a dog attack:
- Call 911 if your child’s injuries are serious or seek medical attention as soon as possible after the incident. There is a risk of rabies when a dog bites a person, and a dog bite that punctures the skin can lead to serious infections.
- Find out who the dog’s owner is. Ask for contact information and proof of rabies vaccination.
- Call animal control and report the attack. This is important to help prevent the animal from attacking others in the future, and to get an official report on file for your claim.
- Collect information relevant to the incident, including contact information for eyewitnesses, police reports, documentation from animal control, and correspondence from the insurance company.
- Take pictures of your child’s injuries, after the attack and throughout the healing process, including any surgeries your child may need.
- Document any physical and emotional difficulties your child may be experiencing after the dog attack. Keep a daily or weekly journal until the dog bite case is complete.
- Contact an experienced Charleston dog bite attorney to help you pursue the compensation you and your child deserve.
Why Choose Us?
At Allen Law, we offer one-on-one contact with your attorney and a smaller feel, as compared to a large, mill-type firm. Attorney Allen is a former insurance defense attorney, with experience from “the other side” that gives us insight and perspective in representing injured people. If your child has been bitten by a dog, call us today at (843) 882-5005 to schedule a free initial consultation with no time limit.