More than four million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and one in five dog bites results in injuries that require medical attention. Many even result in injury serious enough to require emergency treatment.
Just in 2009, there were 24 victims of dog bites that sought treatment in the Emergency Room at Stones River Hospital. According to Phil Parker, M.D., a physician in the E.R. at the hospital, the victims of dog bites are usually children. Dr. Parker adds that, “National statistics indicate that the rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for those ages 5 to 9 years”.
Dr. Parker wants parents to know that you can reduce the chances that your children are bitten by a dog. To help prevent your children from being bitten by dogs, teach them following basic safety tips and review them regularly: Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
Do not run from a dog or scream.
Remain motionless (you can tell young children to “be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (you can tell young children to “be still like a log”).
Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.