According to researchers who studied 84 cases of dog bites in children, the greatest risk of young children suffering personal injuries from dog bites occurs during the summer and that children are particularly vulnerable to severe bites to the head and neck areas.
The researchers said that it is unclear why the summer months have a higher likelihood of children being injured by dog bites, but it is possible that it is because during warmer months, children tend to spend more time outside playing with dogs. They also suggest that it could be that hot weather causes dogs to become more irritable.
According to the study, family pets were the source of 27 percent of dog bite injuries. The most common places on the head and neck area that children were bitten were the cheeks (34 percent), lips (21 percent), and nose and ears (eight percent). The researchers also discovered that 64 percent of the children attack suffered bite injuries to more than one location and that 7.15 centimeters was the average wound size. The most common breed involved in the attacks was pit bulls.
The research was published in the March issue of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.
Dog bites account for approximately one percent of all emergency room visits in the U.S., including 44,000 cases of facial injuries each year.