Mild to moderate cuts and scrapes may be considered a normal part of childhood—but dog bites and serious personal injuries are not. Regardless of your child’s age, there are certain ways that you can help keep him or her safe around both family pets and unfamiliar dogs.
Be sure to establish several basic rules with your children regarding canine safety. This includes teaching them to:
- Never go near strange dogs without parental supervision.
- Always ask the dog’s owner for permission before approaching the animal.
- Avoid bothering a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Report any stray dogs to a trusted adult.
- Never tease or patronize a dog.
- Never pet a dog without first letting it sniff the back of your hand.
It is also important to educate your children how to handle themselves when a dog approaches them. Instruct children never to run away or scream, as the dog may chase after them. Instead, they should stand very still to avoid startling the animal further. Your children should also know never to make direct eye contact with the animal, as this often increases its anxiety. If kids fall or are knocked down, they should remain on the ground and lie still. Following these tips will usually convince the dog to leave when it realizes that your child is not a threat.
When your child sustains a dog bite injury, you’ll need the advice of an experienced dog bite lawyer. The Shea Law Group in the Chicago area can provide you with the legal expertise you need. For more information on our practice areas or services, give us a call at (773) 365-0040.