Dogs can be great pets, but they can also be dangerous. It is important to teach your child how to properly interact with a dog in an effort to prevent any injuries to your child. On this page, I provide some information on preventing dog attacks.
Unfortunately, some dog attacks cannot be avoided. In these situations, the dog owner might be at fault for dog bites or other injuries that your child sustains. You can also learn more about what happens after a dog attack here.
Preventing Dog Attacks
When it comes to teaching your child about dogs and safety, you should aim to instill caution in them, but not evoke fear. Dogs can be great playmates and companions, especially for children. But just as you have to teach your dog how to interact with people, you need to teach your child how to properly interact with dogs in order to avoid issues.
Most dog bites occur when a dog feels threatened or frightened. Your child can unknowingly and unintentionally agitate a dog by doing things such as:
- Trying to play with them while they are eating.
- Playing too rough or petting too hard.
- Trying to play with newborn puppies (the mother may become overly protective).
- Petting a dog in sensitive areas or places they don’t like to be touched.
- Startling the dog by screaming or making sudden movements.
- Waking a dog up.
- Trying to play with stray dogs or playing with dogs without the owner’s permission.
- Jumping in too quickly and not letting the dog get used to the child.
- Running – the dog may think that the child is playing and try to chase them, which could frighten your child and cause issues.
You can avoid these issues by teaching your child how to correctly interact with a dog.
First, your child should always ask the dog’s owner if they can pet the dog before trying to pet them. If the dog is a stray, you should tell your child not to pet the dog at all.
If the owner says that it is ok to pet the dog, your child should first hold out their hand for the dog to sniff. Then, teach your child to slowly and soothingly pet the dog on their head or their back. Have your child stay away from the dog’s mouth, and other sensitive areas.
Instruct your child to speak in a soothing voice, pet the dog slowly, and avoid the issues mentioned above. If your child follows these basic rules, they should not have any issues with dogs or other pets.
After a Dog Attack
If you want to take action against the dog’s owner for the injuries that your child sustained, one of the first steps to take is contacting a child injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you through a personal injury lawsuit, and a child injury lawyer will be especially tailored to your family’s situation. Child injury lawyers, such as the ones on our team at Ruane Attorneys, have worked with dog bite cases and child injury cases in the past. We can provide the resources and the help that you need at this time.
If you have already documented your child’s injury, the case will go even more smoothly. If you were unable to get this documentation, our team can talk to a doctor and help you get the information that you need.
A lawyer can sit down with you and explain this process to you. They can continue gathering evidence that you can use in the child injury case. A lawyer can also fill out all of the necessary paperwork, answer your questions, help determine the amount of compensation that your child deserves, and assist with negotiations. You and your attorney can decide together if it is in your family’s best interest to settle the case (if a settlement is offered) or proceed to court.