How To Prevent Dog Bites
In a report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), researchers estimate that roughly 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Around 800,000 of those bites require medical attention. This means that every day, about 1 in 69 Americans are bitten.
While this information can seem frightening, there are a few simple ways to reduce the likelihood of being bitten by a threatened or overly-playful dog.
Who Is At Risk?
According to the CDC, children are statistically more likely to be bitten by dogs than adults are. While many parents believe that the majority of bites come from unfamiliar dogs, over half of the dog-bite injuries are from household dogs. Because small children are especially vulnerable, it is not advisable to let them play with a dog unsupervised.
Here are a few small steps you can take to lower the risk of sustaining an injury from a dog bite:
- Before reaching out to pet someone else’s dog, ask for permission.
- Always allow a dog to see and sniff you first before petting it
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Don’t bother a dog that is asleep, eating, or caring for puppies.
- If approached by an unfamiliar dog, do not run or panic. Be still and say “stop” or “get away” in a deep voice.
- If you are knocked over by a dog, curl up into a ball to protect your head, neck, and abdomen from being bitten.
If you have been bitten, it is essential to seek proper medical attention.
For small wounds:
- Wash thoroughly with soap and water
- Apply an antibiotic ointment and bandage
- If the wound becomes swollen, painful, and red, seek medical attention from a trained healthcare professional. The wound could be infected.
For deeper wounds:
- Apply pressure with a clean bandage or cloth
- If you feel faint, dizzy, or weak, and you cannot stop the bleeding, seek medical attention from a trained healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Reporting the Bite
If you have been bitten, you may want to think about reporting the bite to your local animal control agency or police department. You could be at risk for rabies, especially if the dog seems sick or is acting strangely. If you can, contact the owner to check whether or not the dog has been vaccinated for rabies. You will need the veterinarian’s contact information to verify it.
Contact a New York Dog Bite Attorney
If you or your child has sustained serious injury from a dog bite due to a negligent owner, the attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP want you to know that legal help is available to you. Even minor dog bites carry the threat of infection and disease, and more severe bites could require extensive medical treatment and could result in permanent scarring or disfigurement. If someone else’s dog bit you, you could be eligible to seek compensation from the owner to make sure that you don’t have to pay for medical expenses and other costs out of your own pocket.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our New York dog bite lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP to discuss your rights and legal options. We’re here to support you, so call us at (212) 779-0057 or reach out to us online.