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Understanding dog bite injury incidence and how to prevent them

Almost anyone who has owned a dog will agree that dogs are loving animals and make wonderful and loyal pets. But like humans, dogs have personalities and how they behave and interact with other animals and humans not only depends on their upbringing but also what they perceive as a threat. Sometimes even a loving dog may attack others and cause injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 4.5 million people annually suffer a dog bite injury in the U.S. alone. What is even more interesting is that about half of those who sustain a dog bite are children. Furthermore, the CDC notes that about 20 percent of those individuals who suffer a dog bite require medical care and attention for their injuries. For instance, in 2012 reconstructive surgery due to dog bite related injuries affected over 27,000 individuals.

Though the CDC data shows that children between the ages of five and nine and adult males are more likely to suffer a dog bite than females, the potential for anyone exists and any breed of dog may be implicated. But, at some level dog bites are preventable, and by taking some simple steps harm that may result from a potential dog bite can be avoided.

Since nearly half of all those who are bitten by a dog in the U.S. are reportedly children, teaching children how to behave with a dog, particularly unfamiliar dogs, may be helpful. First and foremost, it is important to not approach a dog that one is not familiar with. It is best to avoid petting or touching a dog that is eating or taking care of her puppies. Any and all play with children and dogs should be supervised by an adult. When playing with a dog it is important not to indulge in rough or aggressive play.

By following some simple dog bite prevention tips, dog bite related injuries which result in disfigurements, pain and suffering can be avoided.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Dog Bites," Sep. 5, 2014

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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