It is difficult to accurately project the number of people bitten by dogs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that on average about 800,000 people receive some type of medical attention for dog bites every year. Over 28 percent of those bites are to children aged nine or younger. Often, younger children end up with major head and neck injuries from the bites.
With a potential for scarring, serious injury or death for both children and adults, prevention has become a major focus. One of the challenges with prevention is the variety of circumstances that have led to attacks. Some dogs might be pets, some may be random dogs encountered in many different places. Knowing what to do could allow you or your child to escape unharmed.
Are Certain Breeds the Problem?
Some municipalities have banned certain breeds of dogs. New Jersey has a rule which prohibits any law targeted toward any specific breed. Most experts agree that pinpointing a specific breed as a major problem is not an effective way to address the issue.
Pit bulls, Rottweilers and German Shepherds all have a reputation for being vicious, and have even been outlawed in some states. While it is certainly true that these are larger dogs, any dog can bite, at any time. A lot of the so-called vicious breeds are popular as pets, and an increase of dogs in the home will inevitably increase the number of dog bite cases.
Protecting Yourself From Attack
So what can you do to avoid being bitten by a dog? First, remember that any dog can be dangerous. If you encounter a strange dog, do not provoke it. Pay careful attention to the signals that the dog is giving you. Is it growling and barking? Is it approaching you rapidly? Do not run away from the dog, as that will signal it to continue with its aggressive behavior.
If you find yourself in danger, do not look the dog in the eye. Keep your arms still, and try to protect your hands. If the dog lunges, try to get the dog to bite any objects that you have. If this does not stop the attack, and the dog knocks you to the ground, try to make yourself as small as possible while protecting your head and throat. Remain still and do not make loud noises. If you or your child has been the victim of a dog or other animal attack, contact an experienced attorney to find out more about your specific situation.