Christina Rivenbark & Associates ATTORNEYS AT LAW

Are North Carolina Kids Safe from Dog Bites?

Dogs are known to be man's best friend, but can be very dangerous if threatened. A recent report claims that over 4.5 million people fall victim to dog bites each year. These bites can sometimes be very serious and lead to stitches, cosmetic surgery or ongoing psychological counseling. Dog bites are common in North Carolina and people need to take safety measures to prevent harm to them and their children.

It has been reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that children between 5 and 9 years of age suffer dog bites more than any other age group. Many dogs tend to feel anxious around unfamiliar people, especially children. Children and dogs both love to play outdoors, which increases their interactions with each other and also the chances of dog bites.

When a dog is apprehensive, it barks and makes intimidating advances toward the threat. Children should be taught not to run into these situations. Children should just stay where they are and if knocked over, should protect their head and neck with their hands.

Also, children should be taught not to tease dogs or play roughly with them. This could overexcite the dog and may result in injuries to the child. Parents should be careful with dogs around their small children as dogs may get jealous of the attention the child receives. Parents should teach children not to make eye contact with dogs.

The behavior of dogs also depends on its upbringing. Dogs that stay with seniors are more anxious than other dogs. According to law in North Carolina, dog owners are liable for the actions of their dog. Dog owners should exercise reasonable care to protect others from injury. If a person gets injured due to dog bites, compensation may be claimed from the dog owner's homeowner's insurance.

Source: U.S. News, "How dog-savvy is your child?," Sept. 2, 2012

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