When most kids see a dog, “caution” isn’t the first thought that crosses their mind. However, it should be.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs every year with 1 in 5 people requiring medical attention. At least half of dog bite victims are children.
“Not only are children the most common victims of dog bites, but they’re also far more likely to be severely injured,” says pediatric emergency medicine physician Susan Yaeger, MD, with Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital. “Many of the dog bite cases we see at the Children’s Hospital could have been prevented. While we may not always be able to control dogs and their owners, we can coach our children to handle these interactions safely.”