Serious Dog Bites – Statistics, Dangers, and Risks to Florida Children

  • Sumo

dog%20animal%20coonhound%20close%20up.jpgDog bites occur in all States and communities. Recent federal government data revealed that dog bites that require hospitalization has nearly doubled in the past 15 years. More specifically, about 4.5 million dog bite incidents occur annually. Of those incidences, 316,200 required trips to the emergency room and 9,500 required hospitalization (these are the latest figures from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality). Not only can dog bites or other dog attacks be physically damaging, but they can also be costly. The costs for treating dog-related personal injuries is an estimated $54 million per year; that figure averages out to $18,200 per hospital stay. They physical personal injuries sustained by children can be quite traumatizing. More than 30 children are admitted to local hospitals per year dog bite treatment, which usually involves surgery. Serious dog bites are most common in children and older adults. While teenagers and adults sustain most of their personal injuries to their legs and arms, children are more frequently attacked in the head and neck. The head and neck of children are typically attacked because children have a tendency to be down in the face of the dog. Most dog attacks are not committed by stray dogs. On the contrary, the dog is usually one that a child is somewhat familiar with; usually a family member’s dog, friend’s dog or neighbor’s dog. Dr. John Peter, emergency department director at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, advised parents and guardians to teach their children not to fear dogs but to respect them. Peter further explained, children are not born with knowledge of how to behave around dogs, the same goes for traffic and guns. Therefore, it is a parent or guardians responsibility to teach children how to safely behave and interact with dogs. For more information on this topic read Dog bite incidences on the rise, children are likely targets.

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