There are few things cuter than a dog and a child playing together happily. Unfortunately, not all interactions between dogs and children are adorable. In too many cases, a dog can bite and seriously injure a child.
If this happens to your own child, it is crucial to take the following measures.
- Seek medical attention. Dog bites can cause serious injuries to victims — especially young victims. They can suffer serious lacerations, nerve damage, infections and disfigurement. Victims can also experience severe emotional trauma as a result of an animal attack. As such, seeking medical attention right away after any bite is crucial.
- File a report. Once you have secured medical assistance, you will want to be sure the animal does not hurt anyone else. As noted in this article, you or any other person with knowledge of the bite should report the incident to Animal Control. They can then quarantine the dog and conduct an investigation to determine if the dog is dangerous. In some cases, the owner will need to comply with certain rules to prevent another attack; in other cases, the dog may need to be put down.
- Consider legal action. Considering the damage that a dog bite can do, victims and their families have the right to explore their legal options to pursue compensation. Depending on numerous facts of the case (e.g. whether the dog was known to be dangerous and whether it was properly restrained), there may be grounds to file a lawsuit seeking financial damages.
Dogs can be faithful, loving companions. However, they are still animals that have to potential to attack others, with or without provocation. And sadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dogs are more likely to bite children than adults.
Should this happen to your child, you can take these steps to get help, hold the owner accountable for damages, and protect others from a dangerous animal.