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How can I help protect my child from dog bites?

Being bitten by a dog can be a very traumatic experience for anyone and unfortunately, it is not an uncommon occurrence. It is estimated the 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually. Half of dog bite victims are children ranging from five to nine years of age. And as you would expect, a child is more likely to suffer an injury when bitten by a dog.

But as we know, most children are fond of dogs and like petting and playing with them. This makes them all the more vulnerable to being attacked when approaching a dog they don't know is aggressive. As such, here are some things you can teach your child to help lessen the likelihood that he or she will become a dog bite victim:

● Approach dogs slowly and let the dog approach you.

● Keep away from dogs that you do not know.

● If a dog starts to become aggressive, try to stay calm and move away slowly. Try not to scream or run away and don't look the dog in the eyes.

If your child should have the misfortune of being bitten by a dog, the first thing you need to do is treat the wound. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may also need to seek emergency treatment.

Once the situation is under control, you will need to find out as much about the dog as possible by finding its owner. And if you believe the incident was preventable and caused by the owner's negligence, you may want to file a civil suit. An experienced dog bite attorney can work in an effort to get compensation for your child's injuries from the owner or his or her insurance company.

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