Saturday, December 17, 2005

Children & Dog Bites

Prior research indicates that one-quarter of bites come from the family canine while about 40 percent come from a neighbour's dog.

The most common dog bites are from a family or a neighbour's dog or a known dog, says Dr Julie Gilchrist, lead author of the report and a medical epidemiologist with the CDC's Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention in Atlanta. Dog bites are not as common in strays or unknown dogs as people might think.

Children between the ages of five and 9 at risk

More than 40 percent of the injures in 2001 involved children 14 years old or younger, with the highest injury rate among 5-to-9-year-olds. The number of cases increased slightly during the April-to-September time period, with a peak in July.

More evidence that kids and dogs should NOT be left alone unsupervised.

It is also why parents should not only socialize, train, supervise and contain their pets… they need to do the same with their kids. Kids need to be exposed to lots of dogs throughout their lives. They need to learn to read canine body language, and they aren’t going to get that playing with their Nintendo game set. Kids also need specific instruction, mostly through role playing, how to interact with the family dog, and with strange dogs. You can’t just tell a kid something and figure that they get it. You have to not only explain, but have them work with live, friendly dogs. Kids also need direct supervision around pets. I have had several run ins with parents, who figured that they could let their kids abuse the family dog, and the dog was supposed to just take the abuse. If a kid abuses a dog, then the dog is going to start defending itself, even from your bratty kid! Kids also need to be contained, meaning, you need to know where they are at all times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read stories, over the years, where a kid climbed over a neighbor’s fence, went to someone’s house where the dogs weren’t supervised, or got into a dog kennel unsupervised, and was attacked and mauled by the dogs. You are the parent. It is your job to make sure your kids are properly educated and managed.

Here’s an amazing fact: Dogs are ANIMALS and they are going to act like animals. Kids are kids, and they are going to need parents around to ensure their safety.

This ain’t rocket science, folks.

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