National Dog Bite Prevention Week starts off on May 20, so now is a great time to brush up on prevention tips and what to do if you are attacked by a dog. Over 4.7 million Americans are bitten by a dog annually. Over 800,000 are required to seek medical attention, and the most likely victims are children, followed by senior citizens. Keep the following in mind the next time you are out in your neighborhood or at a park, especially if you are with children:
- Be cautious around strange dogs and always trust your instincts.
- Never let babies or small children play with dogs.
- Always ask a dog owner’s permission before approaching a dog.
A little precaution and common sense can go a long way in terms of preventing an attack, but sometimes they are unavoidable. If you or someone is bitten, immediately attempt to locate the owner. Demand proof of identification and a rabies vaccination. Seek medical attention even if the injury doesn’t initially seem severe. Try to get contact information and take as many photos as possible; these could be important later. Follow up with the dog’s veterinarian to double check vaccination records.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego personal injury attorney.