A survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, found that every 40 seconds a dog bites someone in the United States severely enough to warrant medical attention. Put another way, every year in the United States, almost 2 percent of the population is bitten by a dog. That's about 4.7 million bites, of which nearly 800,000 require medical attention. Other U.S. studies found that children were the ones most often hurt severely or killed, and that nearly half of all children have been bitten at least once by a dog sometime during their lives.
But here in Canada, we have an even bigger problem. Humane Society of Canada, Executive Director, Michael O'Sullivan states that we need more information and research about when and why dogs bite. Even though Health Canada recently reported that: `... it was clear that dog bites are, to a point, preventable. The results support the argument that young children, because of their lack of
judgment or their difficulty in recognizing the dog's warning signs, are more likely to act in ways the dog considers threatening...'.
As long as children continue to explore the world in which we live in, dogs will continue to bite children. It is our responsibility, as mothers and fathers, to teach our children about a dog's nature to bite humans. To minimize the possibility of a dog biting your child, teach your child the following about dogs:
1. Never disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, playing with another dog or caring for puppies
2. Never pet a dog without letting the dog see you first and sniff your body
3. Never scream or run away from a strange dog that has approached you
4. Remain clam when a strange dog approaches and stand with your hands
protecting your face and eyes
5. Curl into a ball with your hands over your ears if you are knocked to the ground by a dog
6. Remain still and keep quite until the dog goes away
7. If a dog attacks, injuries can be decreased by using your jacket, toy, bicycle, etc. as a barrier between you and the dog