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Why Children are More Susceptible to Dog Bites

Why Children are More Susceptible to Dog Bites

Unfortunately, dog bites injure countless victims each year in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that about 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year and that about 350,000 of these victims are sent to the emergency room as a result.

Although the number of related fatalities remains at a fairly low rate—about 30-35 each year—the consequences can still prove to be devastating, as children are most frequently targeted. A dog bite can have serious ramifications, including lifelong disfigurement and lasting medical conditions, so many are speaking up about ways to prevent these attacks.

A child may be more susceptible to a dog bite than an adult for many reasons. First of all, small children are usually unaware of the potential threat that a dog may pose. Upon trying to play with this seemingly lovable animal, a child may inadvertently trigger fear and/or excitement in the dog, causing it to become violent or defensive.

Innocent behaviors on the part of a child—including staring a dog in the eyes and moving erratically or excitedly—can cause even the most well-behaved dog to revert to a primal state. Because of this, it is the responsibility of the owner to recognize a potentially dangerous situation and subsequently remove the dog from within the vicinity of the child.

Although precautionary measures should always be taken when a child is near, not all attacks can be prevented. It is never certain how a dog will react, but it is the responsibility of an owner to recognize any potential danger.

If your child has sustained a serious dog bite at the hands of a negligent owner, you should not hesitate to speak to knowledgeable attorney. Even if the dog did not mean any harm, a careless owner may still be held liable. If they have failed to keep your child safe and an injury was sustained as a result, you may be entitled to compensation, so contact a legal professional from our firm today for more information about your case.