Why Are Children More Often The Victims Of Dog Attacks? | North Carolina Dog Bite Attorney

Of the 4.5 million people bitten by dogs each year, the most at-risk age group is children aged 5-9. According the Center for Disease Control (CDC), children are not only more likely to be bitten or attacked by dogs - they are also more likely to be seriously injured in a dog attack. Why is this?

First of all, children are smaller. Dogs are less intimidated by a child's size and more likely to attack them than an adult two or three times the size. Children are also more on the level of a dog, making it easier for a dog to maul a child's face, body, and hands.

Secondly, children are not always aware of the signs of aggression in a dog. While most adults understand that bristled hair, exposed teeth, and growling are all signs that a dog is prepared to bite, a child may not understand these danger sings.

Thirdly, a child may unknowingly be too rough with a dog. Especially toddlers, who are naturally curious and exploratory, may tug on a dog's ears or tail, grab at their fur, or inadvertently poke their eyes. Even dogs that are not normally aggressive toward humans or children could respond to rough behavior in an aggressive way.

Next, children may not know that dogs are protective of certain things - like puppies, toys, or food. A child may pet a dog while he is eating, snatch his favorite toy, or try to pet a mother's pups - all without knowing that they are putting themselves in danger.

Finally, a child may startle a dog - either by making a quick movement, by making a surprising sound, or by petting the dog while it is asleep. A startled dog may very well bite.