Each year nearly 2.8 million children are bitten by a dog. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates half of all children 12-years-old and younger have been bitten by a dog, resulting in injuries of varying severity. In fact, dog bites are the second most frequent cause of emergency room visits for children. Even worse, 79% of fatal dog attacks involve children.
Contrary to popular belief, most of these bites are not coming from a “scary” dog that got loose. Statistics show that half of all dog bites come from the family's own dog, and another 40 percent come from a friend or neighbor's dog.
Many times, dog bites are much more than an innocent little nip — they often require hospitalization or even surgery. Even dog bites that are considered minor can cause serious, even permanent, psychological damage to a child.
Dog bite prevention is conspicuously absent in the curriculum of preventable childhood injury education. Research shows that just ONE hour of dog safety training can reduce attacks by 80%! We teach children bike safety, water safety, never talk to strangers, etc. We need to teach children how to be safe around dogs in exactly the same way as we teach safety around any other potential risk or hazard.
Deputy Dakota, Trooper Tahoe and Sgt. Cheyenne of the For Kids Sake Safety Around Dogs Project promote public awareness, education, and advocate prevention strategies for this easily preventable injury.
Join Deputy Dakota, Trooper Tahoe, and Sgt Cheyenne as they teach children how to be safe around dogs. Based on the latest child safety standards and research, our materials reflect the most recent strategies and information concerning children and dog safety. The following topics are covered:
For Kids' Sake Safety Around Dogs materials are designed to help parents, teachers, and children's group leaders engage children in learning to be safe around our canine companions. Class materials include:
Our For Kids' Sake Safety Around Dogs program is for anyone who has or deals with children:
This is arguably the most critical factor in fatal dog attacks on children. There are a number of reasons why unsupervised children are especially vulnerable to a fatal dog attack:
- Dogs are much less likely to attack a child in the presence of an adult, particularly in the presence of the owner.
- In the event that a dog does attack a child in the presence of an adult, the intervention of the adult often prevents the attack from becoming a fatality.
- Children, because of their small size, are usually not able to sustain an attack until help arrives. Many adults survived severe dog attacks simply by virtue of the fact that they were able to sustain and fend the dogs off to some degree until assistance arrived.
- Children often engage in dangerous behavior (approaching too close to a chained dog or trying to hug/kiss an unfamiliar animal) that a supervising adult would have prevented.
The age group with the second-highest amount of fatalities due to a dog attack are 2-year-old children. Over 88% of these fatalities occurred when the 2-year-old child was left unsupervised with a dog(s) or the child wandered off to the location of the dog.