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Children and dogs: avoiding an attack

An attack from a dog is traumatic. In addition to serious physical injuries, significant psychological damage can result from a dangerous and frightening event.

Children who lack the strength of an adult to defend themselves from an unleashed or stray canine can suffer severe, potentially disabling injuries. The emotional impact of the attack as well could have long-term, psychological consequences.

Proactive steps can protect a child

Not all dogs are dangerous. However, even the most well-behaved and loving of these animals can injure a child, whether they intend to or not. Parents and other adults responsible for a young one's well-being should be proactive in ensuring their safety from a dog they own or one belonging to someone in their neighborhood.

Children with a new dog in their home often want to help in caring for what they consider a member of their family. Certain tasks may be beyond their ability because of their age and size, such as taking the dog for a walk. That "chore" requires a certain level of strength. Controlling a dog, regardless of age and size, can present challenges.

The best of intentions can lead to an attack

The love children have for dogs can sometimes go too far. They may not understand that petting or other physical contact is not something all dogs like. Depending on the animal's temperament, medication canine may be on, or last time it was fed, they could enjoy the attention or lash out and bite the child, causing serious injuries.

While children need to know how to deal with a dog, parents should be careful about what they say and how they act. Even with the best of intentions, they could be planting seeds for a lifetime of a child fearing and avoiding dogs.

Simply put, some dogs don't like children. However, most present no risk to kids. The combination of educating a child and parents trusting their instincts can mean the difference between a pleasant experience and a catastrophic and injurious event.

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