Dogs are more prone to attack children than adults. The American Veterinary Medical Association says that no fewer than half of the people seeking medical attention following dog bites happens to be minors, and they also run a higher risk of severe injury. While one could teach their child to be kind and undisturbing towards dogs, there is no guarantee that he or she will be completely safe from a dog bite injury. You need to have a solid plan in place for when something like that does happen, so that you are able to protect the kid’s financial as well as physical recoveries.
Essential Immediate Steps
No matter how emotionally charged you happen to be at a time like this, the following things would need to be done right away.
- Get medical attention. Get your kid to the hospital or call for medical assistance at the soonest.
- Give the required first aid, staunch any bleeding, and clean the wound. This can be done while you wait for help to arrive; use a clean towel to apply pressure on the wound site, and elevate it in order to slow bleeding.
- Report the incident to the animal control authority in the area. That lets the local government know they need to deal with an out-of-control animal and its owner, and gives you a potential edge when negotiating a dog bite settlement.
- Get the dog owner’s name and address, as well as those of any witnesses to the event. This data can prove useful if you decide to pursue legal compensation.
Injuries to Watch for
Many children that fall victim to dog bites sustain serious injuries in the process. As a parent, you should talk to a doctor and for an idea on the following things.
- Infections: Life-threatening situations can arise from a dog bite, so make sure to get your child checked by a practicing doctor, and that he or she gets the right antibiotics for any diagnosed infection.
- Emotional Trauma or PTSD: Your child may be distressed or fearful following a dog bite incident and this may not be easily apparent. Get professional help to help tide them over the difficult time.
- Disfigurement and Scarring: Any lingering scarring can cause emotional and physical pain in the child. Medical techniques exist which can mitigate its severity, but it can take up a lot of time and money.
As most lawyers for dog bites would tell you, the pursuit of compensation can be a delicate matter, which demands proceeding carefully with the right approach as well as ample evidence to prove negligence on the dog owner’s part.