Dogs have been touted as man’s best friend and their presence in American homes continues to rise. Nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and over half of those bitten are children. Furthermore, of the 4.5 million dog bites, one in every five result in an injury that is deemed serious enough to require medical attention.
Many of those who require medical attention end up undergoing various forms of reconstructive surgery. It is not uncommon for dog bite victims to acquire infections from their sustained lacerations. The infection can lead to fever and swelling and can result in tissue damage, or even rabies.
Dog Bite Education
To help educate the public about dog bites, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the America Society of Plastic Surgeons spend time each year handing out brochures and holding seminars. Many of their material is surrounded around preventing dog bites, what owners can do to prevent their dogs from biting someone, and how to properly treat dog bites.
One of the most overlooked aspects of a dog bite in today’s society is the threat of rabies. It is strongly urged that if you or a loved one is bitten, that you request proof of a rabies vaccination from the dog’s owner. Other pieces of information you should collect are the dog owner’s name and contact information, as well as the dog’s veterinarian so that its vaccination records can be confirmed.
Children and Dog Bites
It is also important to remember that the most vulnerable victim to a dog bite is a child. And with more and more households containing dogs, the chances of a dog bite have increased. With the potential to come across dogs in parks, at friends’ houses, and a variety of other places, it is an important time to think about the safety and well being of your child.
We love dogs just as much as anyone. Please remember that they are still an animal and despite rigorous training and discipline, when cornered or threatened, dogs will revert to their instincts. Often times the dog mistakes a child for a threat and lashes out at them. Educate your kids about dogs and the potential danger they possess. We encourage you to love your dogs, but also respect them and what they are capable of.