Dogs are popular pets throughout the country. If your family does not have one, there is still a good chance that a few of your friends or neighbors do. Unfortunately, dogs and children do not always interact safely together.

Children who are between ages 1 and 9 have the highest risk of dog bites than any other age group, according to the Florida Department of Health. However, young children are not just more likely to be bitten, the bite wounds are also more likely to be severe. are Dogs often bite children who are younger than 10 years old on sensitive areas, like the head or neck. Because children are so vulnerable to dog bites, it is important for parents to consider what extra steps they can take to keep their children safe.

Supervise young children

Parents should always supervise infants and young children when they are around dogs. About a third of dog bite incidents involving children under 6 years old have an unknown cause. The Florida Department of Health believes that this indicates that many of these incidents occurred when adults did not supervise children around dogs.

It is important to supervise children, even when they are with a beloved family pet. About 85% of dog bites to children under 6 years old involve dogs that the family knows.

Teach kids how to safely interact with dogs

Dogs may bite children more often than adults because children often do not understand the behaviors that might cause a dog to bite. However, parents can teach their children safe behaviors to help them minimize the risk of injury.

Consider teaching your children to never disturb a dog that is:

  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Caring for puppies

It may also be prudent for your children to avoid touching dogs that they do not know, unless they receive permission from the dog’s owner. You may also need to remind your children not to yell or run away from a dog because that could provoke it.

Parents can hold dog owners accountable

It can be beneficial to take what steps you can to help prevent a dog from biting your child. However, dog owners must also act responsibly.

If someone else’s dog injures your child, it may be appropriate to seek justice. You may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses and other costs associated with your child’s injuries.