Every year, more than 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs, with more than half of all victims younger than age 14.
If you're threatened by a dog, remain calm. Avoid eye contact. Stand still until the dog leaves or back away slowly. If you are knocked down, curl into a ball and protect your face with your hands. If a dog bites your child, clean small wounds with soap and water and seek medical attention for larger wounds. Contact the dog's veterinarian to check vaccination records.
Use these tips to help protect children from an encounter with canine teeth:
- Pick a good match. Collies and Labrador retrievers are some of the animals recommended as generally safe with children. Consult your veterinarian for details about the behavior of different breeds.
- Socialize your pet. Gradually expose your puppy to a variety of people and other animals so it feels at ease in these situations.
- Train your dog. Commands can build a bond of obedience and trust between man and beast. Avoid aggressive games like wrestling or tug-of-war with your dog.
- Vaccinate your dog against rabies and other diseases.
- Neuter your dog because they are then less likely to bite.
- Tell your child not to run past a dog.
-- American Academy of Pediatrics