Last year, nearly 5,600 postal workers reported being bitten by a dog. Even though these numbers seem staggering it doesn’t compare to the 2 million children who were bitten by a dog last year. With summer just around the corner and school letting out, the courier service USPS has decided to declare Memorial week as National Dog Bite Prevention Week in order to promote the awareness.
Here are some eye opening stats:
- 4.7 million people in this country are bitten by dogs every year
- 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites each year
- Children are by far the most common victims
- Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs
- Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims
- Children are far more likely to be severely injured; approximately 400,000 receive medical attention every year
There are simple steps you can take to avoid dog bites, ranging from training and socializing your pet to educating your children on how to approach a dog:
- Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war.
- Neuter your pet.
- Don't put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.
- Train your dog. The basic commands "sit," "stay," "no," and "come" help dogs understand what is expected of them.
- If you have a fenced yard, make sure the gates are secure
- Walk and exercise your dog regularly to help it relieve excess energy, anxiety or stress.
- Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog.
- Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and preventable infectious diseases. Parasite control and other health care are important because how your dog feels affects how it behaves.
- Teach your children to be careful around pets. Children must learn not to approach strange dogs or try to pet dogs through fences.
The most important thing to teach children is to always ask the owner before approaching a dog. There are laws governing dog bites, and the best way to protect yourself against being sued is to avoid an incident in the first place.