Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys Offer Tips to Help Prevent Dog Bites
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 4.7 million dog attacks occur across the United States annually and nearly 800,000 of these victims will require medical care. Of the over 300,000 patients that make a trip to the emergency room for treatment of their dog bite wounds, about 6,000 are hospitalized. Even more alarming, hundreds of serious dog attacks will result in death. Moreover, the majority of dog bite victims are children.
While most dogs are friendly, well adjusted, and trained, a select few can become vicious or lash out suddenly to strangers as well as caregivers. A dog bite can inflict considerable damage, particularly in children. Lacerations, disfigurement, scarring, disease, and even death can result from a serious dog attack. The following is a look at some tips, among others, from The Humane Society, to help you and your family avoid being bitten by a dog and an overview of what you should do if you do become a dog attack victim.
- Keep children away from any strange dogs: One of the most common dog bite scenarios involves small children approaching and attempting to play with dogs. Young children will generally not understand if a dog is providing warning signals that it wants to be left alone, and other dogs may be triggered by a running child. Instruct your children to never approach a dog they do not know and closely monitor them when playing outside or interacting with even friend's dogs, which can also bite.
- Neuter your male dog: Studies show that intact male dogs are the most likely to bite. Accordingly, if you own a male dog, be sure to neuter him as soon as he is old enough to do so.
- Do not make eye contact with any dog that appears aggressive: If you believe a dog is acting in an aggressive manner and fear it may attack, do not make eye contact with the dog. Do not turn and run or make any loud noises, as all of these behaviors may result in an attack. Instead, remain calm and stand with your hands by your side. The dog will generally lose interest in you and leave the area.
What to Do if Your Loved One is Bitten by a Dog
You should immediately seek medical attention if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog. Even a small puncture wound has the possibility of infection and should be seen by a medical professional. A doctor will assess the wound and most likely prescribe antibiotics or stitch the area.
Consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible so that you can be advised on your legal rights as well as what actions are necessary moving forward.
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