Throughout the state of Indiana individuals keep dogs as pets. In many households, they are like members of the family. Despite the high esteem many dogs are given, they can still be dangerous if they attack someone.
People of all ages could be hurt in a dog attack. That said, children are a demographic that are at a high risk for being involved in such an incident. Of the approximate 800,000 dog bites that take place each year, about half involve children who need medical assistance. Each year, between 15 and 20 of these bites to children result in death.
According to the ASPCA there are things that can be done to try to limit the number of these incidents involving children that occur each year.
For example, children should not try to pet dogs:
- Without asking permission of the dog’s owner
- That are positioned behind a fence or are in a car.
They should not even approach dogs:
- That are off-leash running around the neighborhood.
- That are caring for puppies, chewing on a bone/toy, eating, or sleeping.
- That seem scared or are growling or barking.
When a dog approaches a child the young person should not try to get away from it by running or screaming. Instead it is best to not make eye contact and stay very still until the dog loses interest and goes away. If a dog knocks a child down, the child should curl up in a ball, stay still and put his or her hands behind their head to protect their ears and neck. Again, the child should stay that way until the dog loses interest. In cases where a dog does attack a young person he or she should give the dog anything they can–such as an article of clothing–to put some distance between them and the animal.
When a dog does attack a child–or anyone–it is possible that legal action could be appropriate. Those who find that they are in that situation could benefit from working with a lawyer.