Tips to Minimize Dog Bites for Children

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Tips to Minimize Dog Bites for Children
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 2/24/2020

BLOGPOST_DogBitesChildren02242020.JPGWhether you have a Labrador, a Chihuahua, or a Pit Bull, all dogs have some propensity towards biting. Dog bites can lead to severe (and sometimes highly infectious) lacerations and many times will lead to deep scars. Kids, on the other hand, tend to have a naturally carefree and lackadaisical approach to animals. Children, especially those under 10-years old, are often not aware that dogs may be dangerous if placed in unusual or unfamiliar situations. Avoiding these situations is a major undertaking with kids but is immensely important to ensure both the animal and child stay safe.

There are obviously no magic wands to ensure that a dog bite won’t occur. Some animals have a higher inclination towards biting, and the background of the dog must be taken into consideration when determining whether to introduce young children. Here are a few tips for parents and caregivers to help ensure safe interactions between even the friendliest of dogs and young children.

  1. As with strange humans walking down the street, teach your children to avoid approaching or petting a stranger’s dog without permission. Without knowing who the dog is or what temperament the dog has, nearing an unknown animal may result in an immediate backlash and bite.
  2. Unless they like horror movies, most humans don’t like to be scared, startled, or surprised. Dogs are the same way. Avoiding sneaking up behind animals or going out of your way to startle them. Letting the dog know you’re approaching is the safest way to near an animal.
  3. Every child is taught about their own personal space, but they tend to have issues staying out of your personal space. Dogs have their own personal space, too. Teach your child to avoid the dog’s area when it is sleeping, eating, or in its own territory.
  4. It should go without saying that a dog’s teeth may be the most dangerous portion of its body. Hugging, kissing, or putting hands near the dog’s face may be asking for trouble.
  5. Supervise all interactions between dogs and children. Dogs have several clear signs of fear or anxiety including downward pointing ears, tails, and shaking. Watch for these and other signs and halt play time to avoid dangerous situations.

Washington has strict laws for dog owners when it comes to liability for dog bites. If your dog has ever bitten another person, you know how devastating it can be for the entire family. Fortunately, homeowner’s insurance tends to cover these events. If you or your child are ever bitten by a dog, contacting an attorney will help you understand your rights and responsibilities. In these situations, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you sustained including:

  • Pain and Suffering;
  • Current and future medical bills;
  • Wage loss;
  • Disfigurement or scarring;
  • Inconvenience; and
  • Mental distress.

A qualified personal injury attorney can help you assess your situation to determine if Washington’s tough dog bite laws can protect you or your child. Contact the experienced litigators at Magnuson Lowell PS for a free case evaluation.

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