Dog bites can affect people in Delaware of any age, but children are much more likely to be the victims of dog bites than adults. Moreover, kids are often likely to be bitten by dogs they know, whether it is a dog in their own family or the dog of a relative, friend, or neighbor. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), nearly 46% of all dog bite fatality victims are 15 years old or younger, and many are very young children. If your child was bitten by a dog, it is important to know what steps you should take to seek compensation. You should also learn more about dog bite prevention given that dog bites are often fatal when kids are the victims of these attacks. Our experienced Delaware dog bite injury lawyers are here to help.
More Children are Getting Hurt in Dog Attacks
Dog bite injuries have impacted children disproportionately for quite some time, but a recent study suggests that even more child injuries are occurring in dog bites than many people think. Indeed, according to a recent study in the peer-reviewed journal Injury Epidemiology, dog bite injuries are “among the most common causes of non-fatal injury among children,” and “these events are particularly common among preadolescent children.”
Most often, dog bites in children result in both serious cosmetic injuries and severe infections, with facial fractures and injuries often being identified as the most severe.
How to Prevent Child Dog Bite Injuries
According to KidsHealth, any breed of dog can bite and injure a child. You should never assume that a child is safe around a dog because it is a family pet or because it is a breed that is known to be docile or gentle with kids. To prevent a dog bite, you should do the following:
- Ensure that your child is monitored around any dog, regardless of whether the dog is a stranger or you have known the dog (or even owned the dog yourself) for years;
- Only allow your child to pet a dog after you have asked the owner for permission to pet the dog, even if the dog’s owner is a friend or neighbor;
- Allow the dog to see you, and sniff you (and your child) before you allow your child to pet the dog;
- Never run away from a dog, and never run toward a dog, and teach your child to do the same; and
- Do not look an unfamiliar dog in the eye, and try to remain calm and back away slowly if an unfamiliar dog approaches you.
You should also teach your children to do the following:
- Do not jump on dogs;
- Do not squeeze dogs tightly;
- Do not pull on a dog’s ear;
- Do not pull on a dog’s tail;
- Do not take a toy away from a dog;
- Do not play tug-of-war with a dog;
- Do not feed a dog with your fingers; and
- Do not crowd a dog.
Dog Owners are Liable for Child Injuries
If a dog bites your child, the dog owner may be strictly liable. In other words, you will not need to prove that the dog owner was negligent. Instead, merely owning the dog can make the owner liable for injuries caused by the dog’s bite.
Contact a Delaware Dog Bite Attorney Today
Was your child injured by a dog bite? One of our experienced Delaware dog bite attorneys can speak with you today about filing a claim and holding the dog owner accountable. Contact Freibott Law online or call us in Wilmington at (302) 633-9000.