With more children playing outside this summer, it is a good time to review what you need to do if a dog bites your child. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), children have a higher risk of dog bites. Furthermore, when a dog bites a child, the injuries can be more severe than when a dog bites an adult. When you have a dog in your home, your child has a higher likelihood of being bitten by a dog.

With school being out for the summer and children playing outside, at the park, or at another person’s house, it is very important to know the steps to take after a dog bite, how to prevent dog bites, and your legal rights if a dog bites your child.

Emergency Care After a Dog Bite

If a dog bites your child, immediately wash the area with water and soap. You need to apply an antibiotic cream and cover the area with a sterile bandage. Watch for signs of infection! Go to the doctor immediately if you notice the area is swollen, painful, warm, or red. If your child begins to act oddly or starts running a fever, go to the emergency room.

When the bite caused a deep wound, use a clean or sterile cloth to apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if the bleeding is not controlled with pressure or if your child is weak or faints. Deep wounds can become infected easily, result in permanent damage, and cause life-threatening complications. It is always best to seek emergency medical care if you are unsure of the seriousness of the dog bite.

How Can You Prevent Dog Bites?

Most children love dogs and do not stop to consider that a dog may be dangerous. Therefore, you should teach your children rules to follow any time they are around a dog, regardless of whether they know the dog, or it is a strange animal.

  • Do not run from a dog – roll up into a ball and cover your head and face.
  • Do not approach a dog that you do not know.
  • Never play roughly with a dog or encourage aggressive play.
  • If a dog is eating or sleeping, stay away from the animal.
  • Never attempt to pick up puppies or interfere when a mother or father is caring for puppies.
  • Do not leave small children alone with a dog.
  • Teach your child how to handle a strange dog by allowing it to sniff the back of your hand.

For more information, visit the CDC website.

Should I Contact a Fresno Dog Bite Attorney?

Yes, if a dog bites your child, you need to consult with a Fresno personal injury lawyer to learn about your child’s legal rights. A dog does not need to have a violent history or be considered dangerous for owners to be held liable for dog bites. In many cases, dog owners can be held liable for damages in a dog bite claim even if the dog has never bitten another person.

Call the Fresno dog bite attorneys of Torem & Associates at (559) 500-5000 or 1-800-954-4444 or use the form on our website to schedule a free consultation and no-obligation case review with a Fresno dog bite attorney.