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How to protect against animal bites

Many children in Wisconsin and all around the country play with dogs safely every day. However, there are roughly 4.5 million dog bites every year, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statistics show that children between the ages of 5 and 9 years old are more likely to be the victim of animal bites. A recent attack in another state is representative of the CDC data.

A 4-year-old girl had reached for a toy when a dog belonging to her neighbor attacked her. The male terrier mix bit her face and legs multiple times. The girl underwent surgery after being airlifted to a nearby hospital and is currently in stable condition.

The CDC provided information on ways for adults and children to avoid attacks by dogs. One suggestion is to remain still if someone is approached by an unknown dog. If someone were to fall, it would be wise to roll into a ball and cover his or her ears and neck. Also, if a dog is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies, it is best not to disturb it.

Additional safety tips include not making direct eye contact with a dog, as this could seem threatening to the animal. It is best to not panic or run from a dog, but rather to let a dog pass. Sudden movements may startle a dog and cause it to attack. Another tip is to create a buffer between a person and a dog with a purse or jacket.

Animal bites can cause serious injuries and can require extensive medical treatment or counseling. Victims and their families may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against a dog owner. Since Wisconsin is a strict liability state, the dog owner is typically responsible for damages resulting from an attack. A personal injury attorney will work with clients toward a successful outcome in the litigation process.

Source: NBC Miami, "Protecting Yourself Against Dog Bites", June 6, 2017

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