Austin Dog Bite Attorney Teaches Kids Safe Behavior Around Dogs

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reports that 50% of dog bite attacks involve children under the age of 12. Many times kids are injured by dogs they know—dogs owned by family, friends, and neighbors. Most of the dog bites are minor, but some involve broken skin, pain, trips to the emergency room, and emotional trauma for your child.

According to Austin child injury lawyer David Todd, studies have shown that the best way to prevent a dog bite is to teach your children how to behave safely around dogs. Kids who know how to act around dogs— how to play with them, when to leave them alone, and how to greet them—are much less likely to be the victim of a dog bite. The 10 guidelines listed below will help your kids to stay safe around dogs:

  1. Be kind. Never kick or slap a dog, or pull on its ears, paws, or tail.

  2. Play with dogs when an adult is present. Adults can supervise play and make sure the kids and dogs are interacting safely. An adult can also decide when there has been enough playtime and the dog needs a break.

  3. Never stare straight into a dog’s eyes. They read that body language as a confrontation and may become aggressive as a result.

  4. Never tease a dog on the other side of a fence. They may become frustrated and aggressive.

  5. Stay away from a dog on a chain. Dogs have a greater tendency to bite when on a chain because they are trying to protect their territory.

  6. Stay away from a loose dog. Tell an adult the dog is loose and let them decide how to handle it. Loose or stray dogs may be lost, injured, and frightened. This can make even the nicest dog aggressive.

  7. Stand still like a tree if approached by a loose dog. Keep your body angled sideways and do not stare directly into the dog’s eyes. Back away slowly when it is safe to do so.

  8. Do not startle a sleeping dog. Make sure the dog is awake before you touch it. A sleeping dog may be aggressive if startled out of a sound sleep.

  9. Do not touch a dog that is eating. Dogs are protective of their food and may become aggressive if you get too close.

  10. Ask permission before petting a dog. If the owner agrees, ask the dog for permission by holding out a closed hand for it to sniff.

Dog bites can lead to severe physical and emotional injuries for your child. When they are taught how to behave safely around dogs, their chances of being injured are greatly reduced. David Todd, an Austin child injury lawyer, is committed to promoting child safety in the Austin area. Sometimes, however, accidents occur despite your best efforts to prevent them. If your child is injured and you need legal assistance, contact the Todd Law Firm at 512-472-7799 for a free case review. You can also download a free copy of David’s book, Seven Deadly Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Texas Accident Case, for more information.