Jun 29, 2017, 1:45:52 PM CDT Nov 9, 2018, 11:27:50 AM CST

Is that dog friendly? Tips on helping your children avoid dog bites

How to teach your children to approach dogs and avoid being bitten


Every year, more than 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites and at least half of them are children, per the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are more likely to be severely injured.

During the summertime, dog bites rise due to the increased amount of time both dogs and children spend outside. Whether it is an unfamiliar dog or family dog, all dogs can bite and need to be approached carefully. Keep your family safe this summer by following tips from our expert:

What to do if you get approached by a dog…

Stand like a tree – If approached by an unfamiliar dog, bring your arms in and stare at the ground. Stand still until the dog goes away. Dogs are looking to play and if you stand still, they will get bored and go away.

What to do if you see a dog…

Ask permission – Rather than running up to pet a dog, encourage your children to ask for permission from the pet owner. If given permission, pet the dog on the side of the head or stick your arm out in a fist to show the dog you are friendly.

What to do if you get attacked by a dog…

Curl up like a rock and be still – If you get attacked by a dog, curl up in a ball on the ground and guard your head with your arms. Lay still until the dog leaves you alone. Examine your wounds and seek medical attention if needed.

What to do if you have wounds from a dog attack…

Stay calm - Examine the wound and apply pressure if it is bleeding. Call your pediatrician. If you have to head to the ER, pack a bag with toys for your child. In the chance your child may need stitches, avoid giving them food or drinks.

The video at the top of the page shows you how to act like a tree and a rock.

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emergency medicine, environment, injury prevention, lifestyle, safety

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