There are many benefits of introducing dogs to your children, including learning to be responsible for another at an early age. However, dogs can pose danger to children, especially children who are below five years of age. This is because children at this age may still not understand that a dog sometimes needs its space. They may still not get that although a dog is their friend, it is not a toy, but a living thing with feelings.
To protect children from bites, it is first important to consider not buying/adopting a dog for them until they are older. If you do decide to buy/adopt the dog, make sure their play time together is always supervised.
For older children, make it clear to them that if a dog is tired of playing, they should let the pet be, and wait until the dog wants to play later. Pulling the dog’s tail can only lead to the dog becoming defensive, and this means a bite on the child. The child should also avoid climbing on the dog, especially if the dog has shown an aversion to this behavior in the past.
Children should also avoid disturbing the dog when he is eating or sleeping, as this can lead to bites. A dog that is tending to puppies also tends to be over-protective and children should learn to keep off.
As for a dog belonging to friends or strangers in the streets, the child should learn not to pet it without the owner’s permission. Children should also never approach a strange dog, especially if it’s unaccompanied- having a friendly dog at home does not necessarily mean all dogs are friendly.
If a child is attacked by a dog in the streets, teach him the best way to react is to stand still instead of running away. Dog are hunters in nature, and running away from them immediacy leads to a chase that the child will obviously lose. It’s advisable to just stand without making any movements, which shows the dog you are not challenging him in any way so there’s no need to attack.
As a parent or guardian, make sure you report any stray dogs you spot, as they might pose danger to your child and others.
If your child is bitten, take him to ER, especially if the bite led to raptured skin. The medical professionals will provide antibiotics in case of a mild bite and necessary surgery if it is a severe wound.
How to Protect Children from Dog Bites