Dog bites are very common injuries for both adults and children. They can cause serious consequences from permanent disfigurement to psychological trauma. Worse, they could also result in death. No one is protected from sudden attacks of dogs.
In protecting oneself, always remember that there's no such thing as a dog that doesn't bite. In fact, statistics show that most cases of dog bite injuries are from those that are considered as pets.
So to protect yourself and your family from getting bitten, here is some information you need to know that may be helpful.
Basic Steps to Safety
-DO NOT approach a dog, especially when you are not familiar with the animal. Even when you know the dog, ask the owner's permission before you try to touch or pet it. When you have the owner's permission, extend the back of your hand and allow the dog to sniff you before you try to touch or pet it. Rule of thumb: EXTEND THE BACK OF YOUR HAND. NOT YOUR FINGERS.
-DO NOT try to touch the dog when it's eating.
-DO NOT touch or pet a resting or sleeping dog. Always remember that dogs should always be aware of your approach.
-DO NOT approach a mother dog that has puppies, particularly if the mother is nursing.
-DO NOT stare a dog in the eyes, especially if the dog is strange or seems threatening. If you have information or you suspect that the dog is abused or neglected, take extra care in approaching it. Consider that the dog may be dangerous.
-DO NOT get the dog very excited or engage it in excessive rough play. The dog's instincts may overpower its self-control.
-DO NOT let a dog feel cornered. Exercise extra care in small or enclosed areas. Dogs feel trapped when in a place too small for them to find an exit.
-DO NOT leave your baby or toddler with a dog. It doesn't matter that the dog is a pet. Some experts say that no child under the age of ten should be left alone with a dog. You never know when or what might trigger the dog's reaction to your child.
-DO NOT back away from a strange dog. It may think that you're playing with it.
Children Should Always be Protected
Aside from not leaving your children with dogs, it is important to teach them on how to behave when in the company of dogs. Parents and guardians should also provide appropriate supervision for young children when dogs are present.
Experts contend that children under the age of ten should not be left alone with a dog for they may not be able to behave appropriately around it. Also, experts say that the children are too small to defend themselves when attacked even by a small dog.
In addition, dogs may confuse children's movements and behavior and mistake them for prey. It is better to take the precautionary measures now than be sorry later on. Below are a few instructions that parents should teach their children:
-Not every dog that wags its tail is friendly.
-Do not approach or play with a dog unless an adult is present.
-Do not approach a stray dog, or a dog you do not know.
-Get permission first from the dog's owner before approaching it. When you approach a dog, be sure that the owner is present.
-Remain calm and still when a dog approaches you.
-Do not tease dogs, or make loud noises around a dog.
-Avoid staring into a dog's eyes.
-Do not try to help an injured dog. Get a grown-up to help you.
-Don't put your hand between two dogs. If the dog is behind a fence, do not reach through the fence.
-Keep your face away from dogs.
-If you got scared by a dog, do not run away, scream or shout.
-If a dog knocks you over, stay on the ground. Stay completely still. Protect your head, face, neck and arms. Tell a grown-up right away.
-If a dog bites, try to give something else for the dog to bite or chew. Give your backpack or jacket. Protect your head and face. As always, tell a grown-up right away.
Have you noticed that the paperboy riding a bike is always attacked by dogs in your neighborhood? There are special cases when dogs readily attack people. Rapid movement attracts a dog's attention. That's why it is best to take caution when engaged in certain activities.
Riding a bicycle, jogging, running and rollerblading are some of the activities that regularly get the dogs excited. People who engage in these activities are at risk of being bitten. You should always try to keep a safe distance from dogs, including those that are on leashes.
When on a bicycle, not only do you have a risk of getting bitten, you also may be injured if you hit a dog as it runs in front of you. So if you know that you're approaching a place where there are dogs around, it is best to steer away or keep a good distance between yourself and any dogs.
If you are approached by an unrestrained dog when you're jogging, running or rollerblading, do not try to outrun it - it is probably faster than you. Just stay still until it loses interest in you.
On dog bites and other dog injuries...
by Granny's Mettle
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