While animals, particularly dogs and cats, can be exceptional companions, they can also be dangerous. Animals can attack at any time, even an animal that never seemed to show aggression or indicated that they were likely to attack. Children are particularly susceptible to animal attacks because they have a more difficult time interpreting the subtle warning signs that an animal may give before it bites. Here are 5 tips for teaching your child about animal safety and what to do if your child was bitten by an animal.
1. Steer Clear of Strange Animals
Let your child know that if they don’t know an animal, it’s best to steer clear of it. If the animal is a dog and is on a leash, always make sure your children ask the owner of the dog before petting it, and always stay away from dogs that don’t seem to have an owner around.
2. Never Run Towards or Away from an Animal
Running towards or away from an animal, especially a dog, can trigger aggression. Let your children know to always walk towards or away from the animal in a slow, calm fashion.
3. Be Aware of Signals That the Animal is Aggressive
Many animals give off signs of aggression before they attack. For example, if a dog is agitated, he may flatten his ears or bear his teeth and growl. A dog will only attack if it feels like it has no way out, so if a dog begins to show signs of aggression, make sure your children are aware of how to de-escalate the situation.
4. Don’t Look the Animal in the Eye and Back Away Slowly
When an animal is showing aggression, the best course of action your children can take is to back away slowly. Let your children know not to make eye contact with the animal, because in many cases, the animal may take that as a challenge and it may provoke an attack.
5. Stay Calm
Above all, it’s most important for your children to stay calm when around a dog or another animal. A dog that is upset or agitated may attack suddenly if a child jumps when the dog growls, or an ordinarily calm animal may become aggressive around children who are excited and making a lot of noise. Caution your children to always be calm around animals in any situation, even if they feel scared.
Even with knowledge of how to prevent animal attacks, children may still get bitten. Dog bites and other animal bites can be serious and even fatal in some cases, especially if left untreated. Puncture wounds can develop an infection, and rabies is a concern if the vaccination history of the animal cannot be confirmed, or if the animal is unavailable for testing.
If your child was bitten by a dog or another animal, get medical help right away and contact Dashner Law Firm. We can help you secure the evidence you need to bring a claim forward for compensation.