Dogs and children seem to go hand in hand. There seems to be a natural connection and an instinctive attraction between children and dogs. You will often witness, for example, a child stretching out his hand for un unknown dog that is passing by.

While this may be cute and fun in most instances, it sometimes does not end well. Children under the age of 12 are actually the most likely to fall victim to a dog bite in southern California. In fact, 82 percent of dog bites that are treated in an emergency rooms are for attacks on children under 15 years old.

While it may be instinctive for children to want to play and dogs, kids often do not understand the danger associated with unfamiliar pets. Children should be taught how to behave safely around dogs in order to prevent being bitten by a dog.

Four safety tips a child can be taught in order to stay safe around strange dogs are:

  1. Leave strange dogs alone. While it may be natural to want to play with a strange dog, it should not be done. There is no way to determine whether the dog is going to bite or behave.
  2. Be nice. Some children may be inclined to hit, kick, or slap a dog. This should never be done. The child should also be taught not to pull a dog’s ears, tail, or paws. Provoking the animal may make the dog feel threatened and spur it to attack.
  3. Do not disturb. Dogs, like humans, sometimes like to be left alone. A dog may want alone time as he is eating, chewing a toy, or sleeping. Disturbing a dog at times like these may startle him and he might claw or bite.
  4. Don’t be loud. Loud noises may anger or startle a dog. It may also put it on edge, which will make it more prone to bite.

While you may take the necessary steps to keep you and your children safe around dogs, you cannot always trust dog owners to take all vital precautions. If your child has been attacked by a dog your family may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about your legal options, fill out the contact form on this page.

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982