August is National Dog Month, and while Florida residents love their canine companions, dog bites are the most common animal attacks that lead to fatalities and serious injury in the state. Unfortunately, these types of attacks disproportionately affect children, whose lives can be changed permanently by severe dog bites.
How to Prevent Dog Bites
There are several steps you can take to reduce the head injuries, scarring, and other serious injuries which can result from dog attacks:
- Teach children how to stay safe around dogs: Children are vulnerable because they may not know much about dogs but may be curious about the animals and approach them. Teach your children to avoid unknown dogs and to never tease a dog, especially when they’re eating or sleeping. Teach your child to never turn and run away from a dog, as the animal’s instinct is to give chase. If you have a family member or friend with a well-behaved dog, you may want your child to spend some time with the dog and practice some safe behaviors.
- Supervise children around dogs: Even when children have been taught what to do around dogs, they can get excited when faced with an animal and forget some of what they have learned. Never leave children alone with a dog, even a well-trained and well-behaved dog. If your child is playing outside, supervise them as well and make sure they are playing in an enclosed area, in case neighbors let their dogs off leash and the animals enter your property.
- Never approach an unknown dog: Even a dog who looks friendly can attack and bite.
- Train your dog: If you own a dog, take them to obedience school and get a dog license from your city. Practice training often to make sure your dog obeys you and doesn’t engage in aggressive behaviors.
- Visit the vet with your dog: Dogs who are ill or in pain are more likely to attack, and can even bite family members. One problem is that many animals, including dogs, hide their symptoms because any weakness in the wild can be a danger. As a result, it may not be clear your dog is suffering until he or she bites or becomes seriously ill. Work with your vet to make sure your dog is up to date on shots and is carefully checked for any illnesses.
- Report dogs that are running loose: If negligent dog owners are allowing their animals to run off leash in your neighborhood, report them before the animals enter someone else’s property and cause injury.
- Carry a walking stick: When walking, hiking, or jogging, carry a walking stick. This can help you with self-defense in many situations, including a dog attack.
- Know how to stay safe: If a dog attacks you, the best option is to get away. Try to get a barrier between you and the dog and protect your face and torso. Climb up to a height, if you can, or fight back if you have no other options. Call for help.
If you or your child have been attacked by a dog and have sustained serious injuries, Flaxman Law Group may be able to help. Our team has more than 60 years of combined experience and we have helped families recover compensation after animal attacks and other instances of negligence. In fact, we have helped clients secure over $100 million in total. We know how to negotiate with homeowners’ insurance companies and how to secure evidence in cases. We’re willing to take your case to court, if that’s the best way to secure compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and losses.
If you have been attacked by a dog and would like to know whether you have a claim, contact Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online. We can schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a dog bite injury claims attorney so you can learn more about your legal options.