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How to help your kids avoid dog bite injuries

As San Diego well know, it is nearly impossible to protect your child from every potential danger or harm during every minute of every day. As such, it is important to teach your children to protect themselves when they find themselves in harmful situations, or better yet, to remain out of those situations entirely.

One such situation is can occur when kids encounter unfamiliar dogs. If they are unaware of the dangers these animals can pose, they may inadvertently threaten or frighten the dog, and suddenly find themselves in very real danger of a dog bite injury. Helping your child to understand the risk of such a situation and how to avoid it can go a long way to protect them from injury, and to give you peace of mind.

Here are a few lessons to teach children on how to avoid dog bites:

  • Never approach strange dogs without the consent of the dog's owner, regardless of the breed, size and appearance of the animal. Dogs often perceive unfamiliar people as threats and lash out to protect themselves and their owners.
  • If you are approached by an unfamiliar dog, act like a tree or a log, remaining quiet and motionless until the dog leaves the area. Avoid eye contact with dogs, as they can perceive such contact as a threat.
  • If the dog knocks you to the ground, curl up in a ball and protect your face and neck with your hands and arms.

If nothing else, simply teaching children to be wary of strange dogs can go a long way to keep them safe.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "How Dog-Savvy Is Your Child?" Sept. 2, 2012

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