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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
HomeHealthKidsDog Bite Prevention Week aims to protect children

Dog Bite Prevention Week aims to protect children


Harsh realities of dog bites

• Nationwide last year, 5,577 postal employees were attacked in more than 1,400 cities. Los Angeles topped the list with 83 postal employees attacked in 2011. Baltimore ranked 14th with 26 attacks.

• “Children are three times more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog,” said PTB President Kathy Voigt, whose daughter Kelly, was mauled by a neighborhood dog. “Education is essential to keeping children safe from dog bites.” The attack prompted their creation of Prevent The Bite, a non-profit organization that promotes dog bite prevention to young children.

• AAP President Dr. Robert Block added, “Parents, please don’t ever leave a young child unsupervised around any dog, even a dog well-known to your family. Even very young children should be taught not to tease or hurt animals. And with school almost over for the year, children will be spending more time in parks, at friends’ homes, and other places where they may encounter dogs. They need to know what to do to minimize the risk of being bitten.”

• According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2011 alone more than 29,000 reconstructive procedures were performed as a result of injuries caused by dog bites. Dr. Michael Neumeister, ASRM president said, “Even the friendliest dog may bite when startled or surprised. Be cautious, once a child is scarred they are scarred for life. We hear this line all the time ‘The dog has never bitten anyone before.’ A dog’s reaction to being surprised or angered is not predictable.”

• “Any dog can bite,” said Dr. René Carlson, AVMA president. “If it is physically or mentally unhealthy, is in pain, feels threatened, or is protecting its food or a favorite toy, it can bite. It is important to understand how dogs behave and how our behavior may be interpreted by a dog.”

• “Dog attacks accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims paid out in 2011,” said Dr. Robert Hartwig, III president and chief economist.

The National Dog Bite Prevention Week partners offer the following tips:

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