No one likes to feel a dogs teeth sinking into their skin and it is so important to teach your kids how to avoid getting bit. Realize that dogs dont bite for any reason and they are usually provoked in some way to feel the need to defend themselves. Dogs most often bite out of a sense of fear. Most of the time dogs and children can live in harmony, however children sometimes do get bit by their dog or someone elses dog.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that almost five million people a year are bitten by a dog in the United States. Of these people a whopping 800,000 (often more than half of them children who are younger than thirteen years of age) need to be taken to a hospital for medical intervention and sadly, approximately a eight to twelve individuals die annually as the result of a dog bite. Children are at least three times more likely than adults to sustain a serious dog bite. The good news is that dog bites are largely preventable. It is necessary to educate your kids to avoid the possibility that a dog will bite them. It is an unfortunate aspect of life that most dogs that bite people have irresponsible owners who neglect their dog, mistreat it or dont provide it with the necessities of life so the dog is angry and lashes out at an unsuspecting person.
Always caution children to ask an owners permission to pet their dog before they do so. If the answer is yes then be calm and quiet as you approach the dog taking slow steps. Before you touch the dog let him sniff you first and if he seems responsive to you then pet his sides, back or head in a gentle non-threatening manner. Never attempt to pet a dog who is eating, sleeping or playing with a toy. When a dog is occupied with an activity he is enjoying himself and doesnt want to be bothered so leave him alone! Dogs are protective of their food and toys and might bite if they are startled, scared or afraid the child is trying to take what is theirs away from them.
Advise children to never attempt to pet a dog that is in a yard behind a fence or for that matter in a vehicle. Dogs are naturally territorial and will protect their property and personal space at all costs. Heed that warning and your kids are likely to not suffer a painful bite.
There are many other things that children must be taught in regards to avoiding a dog bite. Make sure children know that it is never wise to walk up to a dog that is a stranger to them and in cases when they are allowed by a parent and the owner to approach a dog always do so carefully, calmly and slowly making sure not to startle the dog. As well tell children to avoid going near stray dogs. If a dog that is unfamiliar to them approaches a child advise them to stay as calm and still as possible. These bedraggled animals sadly are often starving and desperate and not likely to be in a friendly mood. Many people believe that tail wagging means a dog is necessarily friendly but that is not always the case. Upon meeting a new dog, for example at a friend or neighbors house, dont rush at it, but instead let the animal come to you and sniff you before you touch it. Dogs learn about strangers through the scent of them. This is one of the factors they use to decide whether or not they want to get close to you or not.
Children should always be aware of where all of the dogs in their neighborhood reside and they should never attempt to play with any dog if a parent or another adult does not supervise them. It is never advisable to run from any dog and yell as this could make the problem worse. In the event that a child is knocked over by a dog they should roll themselves into a ball and lie motionless. If attacked by a dog a child should give the dog something to chew or munch on such as a book bag or a book. Also your kid must always protect certain parts of his body first and foremost- these include the face, head, neck and arms and direct eye contact with a dog is strongly advised against