Dog bites and dog attacks are a common cause of injury for small children. Small children are vulnerable to dog bites. Injuries caused by dog bites can impact a child for a lifetime. Additionally, a child may suffer severe emotional and mental trauma from a dog bite that can surface years later.
Our Sacramento dog bite attorneys work with parents to file personal injury claims when a child is injured because of a dog bite or animal attack. California dog bite laws hold dog owners, property owners, and other parties liable if a dog attacks or bites a child. Contact our office to schedule a free case review to discuss a dog bite injury claim.
Why Are Children Vulnerable to Dog Bites?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year. Children are the most common victims and more likely to be severely injured.
Unfortunately, children are not mature enough to realize that a dog may bite. Also, a child may trust a dog without knowing the dog. A child is also more prone to do things that could antagonize a dog, such as trying to pet a dog that is eating, startling a dog, hitting a dog, or attempting to pick up puppies from a mother dog.
Family pets may nip at a child as a warning or as a playful act. However, even a family pet can bite a child without warning. Most dogs bite when they are angry or frightened. Unfortunately, small children can be loud. They also tend to move quickly, without warning, and with large motions, such as kicking or swinging their arms. All of these actions can frighten or anger a dog.
Preventing Dog Bites for Small Children
Children are easy targets for dogs because of their small size and inability to defend themselves. The best way to protect children from dog attacks is to teach children dog safety measures.
Dog safety tips for children include:
- Never leave a child alone with a dog, even a family dog.
- Teach children not to pet unknown dogs. A child should always ask an adult for permission to pet a dog.
- Never approach a dog that is eating or sleeping.
- Do not approach a dog with puppies.
- If a dog becomes aggressive, do not run or yell. Teach a child how to curl up into a ball and protect his or her neck and head.
- Do not pull or tug on a dog’s ears or tail. Never hit a dog.
What to Do After a Dog Bite or Dog Attack?
If a dog injures your child, seek immediate medical attention. Dog bites can cause serious and life-threatening injuries and conditions, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones and fractures
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Nerve damage
- Infections, including tetanus, Pasteurella, and rabies
- Emotional and mental distress, including anxiety, PTSD, and depression
Any delay in seeking medical care after a dog bite can increase the risk of developing more severe conditions. It is always best to see a doctor whenever a dog bites your child. Delays in medical care can also harm your personal injury claim.
Contact a Sacramento Dog Bite Injury Lawyer for Help
If a dog bites you or your child, contact our office as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries, medical bills, loss of income, pain, and suffering.
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our Sacramento dog bite lawyers.