Teach Your Children Dog Bite Prevention & Dog Attack Safety Tips

About half of the dog bite injuries in the United States involve children. Why is this so? Because while adults have years of experience with animals, children are often naïve and assume that all dogs are playful and friendly. In addition, children can be rough with dogs by accident or move in ways that entice dogs to play too rough or attack. In reality, some dogs can be aggressive when treated improperly (or when stray or hungry) while other dogs are trained to be aggressive by their owners.

It is important to sit down with your children and go through the proper ways of treating dogs and what may make dogs act aggressively. It is equally important to inform them how to act if they are attacked by a dog.

Make sure your children know:
  • Never approach a dog when an adult isn't present. If the dog owner is present, they should ask if they may approach the dog. Never approach a stray or strange dog even if an adult is present.
  • Understand that dogs are sensitive. Don't' tease dogs, make loud noises, or sudden movements.
  • Never approach a dog with puppies - they can be dangerous when protecting their young.
  • If you find an injured dog, don't try to help it alone. Injured dogs can be aggressive. Instead, call an adult for help.
  • Never reach into enclosed areas, such as between fence slates or into an open car window, to pet a dog.
  • If a dog begins to act aggressively toward you, realize that some reactions, such as running, may trigger the dog to chase you.
Be sure your children understand that if they are attacked by a dog, they should protect their head and face. If someone is nearby to help (which they should be if they followed the directions above) call for help.

In general, be sure to explain that even though many dogs are friendly, warm companions, some are not. While they may be familiar with the personality of their own pets or the pets of family members, they cannot expect all dogs to react in the same ways.