Imagine your child walks a short distance to school every morning, but there are several dogs that run around untethered in your neighborhood. Although you call animal control every time you see one of these animals, it seems that there's always the chance a new dog will show up and threaten the safety of your child when you least expect it.
It's time to prepare your child for an unknown dog encounter, so that they can avoid getting attacked and hurt if the animal turns aggressive. Here are some important safety tips to teach your son or daughter in this regard:
1) Keep your distance from unknown dogs
A dog that doesn't know your child has a higher likelihood of attacking. Even dogs that look like they're friendly could become nervous and aggressive toward a child it doesn't know. The safest bet is to teach your child to keep their distance from unknown animals -- even if the owner is with the animal and it's on a leash.
2) Keep calm and carry on
Children should remain calm when in the presence of a dog that seems aggressive. Teach your children to not run away, but to slowly back away while facing the dog, but not making eye contact. If the dog does attack, the children should continue to stay calm with slow breathing and curl up into a ball on the ground while covering their necks and heads.
3) Tell an adult about new dogs
Children should notify adults if they see a dog they don't know. They should also report any unusual behavior the animal is exhibiting.
4) Always tell an adult about a dog bite
Because dogs can carry diseases like rabies, children need to know how important it is if they get attacked by an animal. Children should also feel comfortable reporting such bites to adults and know that they will not get in trouble for it.
If a child suffers a dog bite injury, the owner of the attacking animal could be liable for the costs associated with the injuries. Parents of children who were injured like this may want to learn more about Mississippi dog bite laws to assess the viability of their potential lawsuits.