Dog bites account for millions of injuries in the United States every year. In fact, it is such a big problem that the American Veterinary Medical Association holds an annual National Dog Bite Prevention Week in order to raise awareness and educate people about prevention strategies.
By remaining aware of some of the following safety tips and teaching them to your children, you may be able to prevent a dog bite incident in the future:
- Avoid aggressive games. Wrestling and other high-energy games are best avoided, especially with bigger dogs.
- Stay alert. The most common victims of dog bites are children, so when your child is around a dog, be sure to monitor the situation closely. Teach your child not to act too aggressively or in a way that might startle the dog. And of course, never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
- Be smart. Don’t reach through a fence to pet a dog or bother a dog while it is feeding puppies, sleeping or eating.
- Don’t react. If a dog approaches you, do your best to stay still and remain calm. Avoid making any quick movements, running or raising your hands. The dog is likely to sniff you and head on its way. If this isn’t the case, avoid eye contact and try to back away slowly.
If a dog attacks you, try to “feed” something (purse, jacket, baseball mitt — whatever you have available) into its mouth as quickly as possible. If you’re knocked to the ground, cover your face, curl into a ball, and do your best to remain motionless and quiet. Once you are safe from the dog, seek medical attention if needed. Then contact a San Luis Obispo County personal injury lawyer, as you may have a claim against its owner.