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When a dog bites a toddler, it can be a stressful situation for everyone involved. There is always a risk of a dog biting someone and a toddler can be especially vulnerable. It is important to remember that any dog can bite and even with friendly or family dogs, an adult should be present when there is a child. Toddlers may love playing with dogs but it is important to keep children safe.
When a dog bite happens, get medical aid for the victim. In New Jersey, parents or guardians can recover compensation from the dog owner for the toddler to help with the child’s recovery.
Find out what to do when a dog bites a toddler and the steps to take below.
A recent study in the United States has found that the youngest age group can be at high risk for a dog biting a toddler. Toddlers can be unpredictable for dogs and are eager to explore. They have not yet learned to recognize signals of distress from dogs to respond appropriately and to leave a dog alone if it is feeling stressed.
Family dogs are also exploring their relationship with the toddler. A dog may be curious about this newer member of the family. Toddlers may be learning to crawl or walk which may make a dog nervous even if the dog has known this newest family member since infancy.
Reuters reported on a recent study analyzing dog bite cases in children. Of those cases, it was found that 30% of cases were of a dog biting a toddler two years and under.
Taking steps to prevent dog bites from happening is the best course of action. 84% of cases occurred in the home. It is important to remember that any dog can bite at any time. A dog and a child should be closely supervised and never be left alone together. A recent study that looked at dogs that had bitten children, found that two-thirds of the dogs did not have a history of dog bites. Past behavior or signs of aggression are not necessarily a good indicator of whether or not a dog will bite.
Separate the dog and the toddler. Assess if the child requires medical attention and take care of any injuries or go to the nearest emergency department. Follow the medical professional’s advice for care.
A parent or guardian is required to report the dog bite to the local municipal authority within 12 hours of learning of the dog attack.
If this is a family pet, talk to your veterinarian about next steps to take with the dog.
Talk to a dog bite lawyer about recovering compensation for your child after the dog attack. Your child could have injuries to deal with for months or even years to come. Compensation, typically from an insurance company, can help to get the best care for your child.
When a dog bites a toddler, it is often to the head and face. Dog bites to children and toddlers are often more severe than for adults and result in a visit to an emergency room. If a toddler has suffered injuries to the head and face, it may be important to ask a plastic surgeon to look at the injuries to see if there will be any long-term scarring.
David J. Cowhey is familiar with cases when a dog bites a toddler. He can provide an informed approach for parents facing this situation for the first time. His experience handling cases when a dog has bitten a small child means he can provide specialized guidance in these types of situations.
If you or your child has been bitten by a dog in New Jersey, familiar to you or not, contact David J. Cowhey at 609-513-0627. He is available 24/7 for a free legal consultation on your case.
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