Many children are naturally drawn to dogs and they are often kind, loving companions. However, if a child is bitten by a dog, he or she can experience serious injuries.
Injuries and treatment
Children can suffer from cuts, bruises and bleeding and there are some important first steps a parent or caregiver can take to treat the injury. It’s important to control any bleeding by applying gentle pressure with a clean washcloth or towel.
After the bleeding is under control, it’s also important to clean the wound with soap and water to remove bacteria, pat the area dry and cover it with a bandage. It may also be necessary to call the child’s doctor or take the child to an emergency room.
This may be required where the parent or caregiver does not know the dog’s rabies vaccination status, when the bleeding does not stop after a short period of time or where the wound is deep.
Even though a child may try to hug the dog, tug on its ears or tail or disturb the dog while it is sleeping, most children do not intend to provoke the dog or hurt it. Owners have a responsibility to supervise their dog’s interaction with the child.
Owners should be especially aware of situations where the dog is growling, attempting to move away from the child, has a high-pitched bark or is circling the child.
If a child has been bitten by a dog, an experienced attorney can offer the parent guidance about pursuing a claim. It may be necessary to seek monetary compensation to pay for the expensive medical bills a dog bite can cause.