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Protect children against Wisconsin animal bites

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than four million people in the country are bitten by dogs each year. Wisconsin residents and others throughout the nation are most likely to get bitten by a dog they know, even their own dog. Furthermore, most victims of animal bites are children age 13 and under.

A national publication reported that dog bites account for almost 40 percent of pediatric traumas at emergency departments. Many of these bites result in scars and require reconstructive surgery. Children are more likely to be the victim of bites on the head or neck than adults.  Animal trainers offer explanations as to why this may occur as well as ways to avoid further attacks.

While children may frequently be near dogs, most have never been educated on how to act around them. Children likely don't understand that all dogs are capable of biting someone, no matter how friendly they may appear. A dog may react to a child's loud voice or physical response to them.

Trainers recommend involving the entire family in training a dog so that children can see specifically where and how to touch a dog properly. They begin to understand at an early age when not to touch them. By including all family members, children learn what to do and parents ensure that the proper behaviors are reinforced. Animal experts suggest to carefully consider what type of pet is best for a family before buying one. Also, it is important to know the background of an animal to be certain it would be good around children.

Animal bites can result in serious injury and may require extensive medical care and counseling.  When a dog bites someone, its owner is responsible for the animal's behavior since Wisconsin is a strict liability state. Victims of animal bites may choose to file a personal injury claim against the dog owner. An experienced attorney can assist victims and theirs families with the litigation process and work toward achieving a monetary award in a successful lawsuit.

Source:, "Why Children Get Bitten By Dogs And How To Protect Them", Vera Lawlor, June 23, 2017

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