When dogs attack, children are often their preferred victims. Of the roughly 800,000 dog bites that occur in the U.S. annually, at least half involve children. In fact, most victims are boys between the ages of 5 and 9.
Dogs do not have to have a history of aggressive behavior to be dangerous, of course. Attacks can also happen anywhere dogs and people come together. Still, if one of your children falls victim to an attack, he or she is likely to be in just a few places.
In the home of a friend or relative
Some dogs have territorial instincts that cause them to defend their homes. When your children enter the residence of a friend or relative, they may be at increased risk of a dog attack. This may be true even if they are familiar with the animal.
On the playground
Playgrounds are full of running, playing and laughing children. These activities may rile up dogs, encouraging them to play aggressively or even to attack. Remember, you do not only have to worry about family pets on the playground, as stray dogs may also be present.
At the dog park
If you and your children enjoy taking your dog to the dog park, you should also recognize the inherent dangers of doing so. Put simply, any time you have a group of dogs together, the pack mentality may lead to a vicious and catastrophic attack.
In 2019, California ranked eighth in the country in the number of dog attacks, with bite-related claims averaging more than $50,000 each. Luckily, if your child suffers a serious injury from a dog bite, he or she may be eligible for the same or even more financial compensation.
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