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Experts offer advice to reduce dog bites

Supervision and education can help protect your child from dog bites.

Sometimes a dog's bite is worse than its bark.

Dog bites are common injuries. And children are at the greatest risk for being bitten. To lower your children's risk of a dog bite, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offer this advice:

  • If you have a dog, teach your child how to behave around it.
  • Never leave your infant or young children alone with any dog.
  • Teach your child never to surprise or scare a dog and never to approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Tell your child to stand still if chased or approached by a dog. Teach the child not to run, kick or make any kind of threatening gesture. Instead, he or she should face the dog and avoid eye contact.
  • If your child is bitten, contact his or her doctor any time the skin is broken—even if it appears to be a minor bite. The doctor will need to make sure the child's tetanus immunization is current.

Reviewed 4/18/2023

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