Health and Fitness

Prevention is key to avoiding dog bites



COLORADO SPRINGS — Youngsters’s Hospital Colorado and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Area (HSPPR) are partnering to educate households this Dog Chew Prevention Week.

In accordance to a press launch despatched out by the partnership, Animal Legislation Enforcement officers responded to greater than 2,000 calls about aggressive home pets in El Paso and Pueblo counties in 2021.

In the identical 12 months, dog bites had been additionally the seventh main reason for damage for pediatric sufferers needing trauma care within the Youngsters’s Colorado emergency division. Of these needing trauma care, 45% of accidents had been attributable to a household pet and 27% had been attributable to a good friend or neighbor’s pet.

“Some dogs may be around children more than others,” mentioned Amanda Abramczyk-Thill of Youngsters’s Hospital Colorado. “We don’t want to just assume a dog is going to know what to do, or that a child is going to know what to do, when they approach a dog.”

HSPPR and Youngsters’s Hospital Colorado steered suggestions for folks and accountable dog house owners to hold your pets and your loved ones protected.

For pet house owners:

  • Monitor your dog’s conduct any time they’re round youngsters. In case your dog is reactive round youngsters, keep away from strolling your dog in areas the place youngsters incessantly play.
  • In case your dog reveals any indicators that they’re uncomfortable, safely take away the kid or the dog from the scenario. Dog stress indicators can embrace lip licking, fast eye motion, panting, pacing, freezing, tense physique, elevating hackles, growling, and/or barking.
  • Advocate to your dog and inform youngsters and/or adults to cease petting and stand again out of your dog if it shows stress indicators. Stress indicators are warning alerts that your dog is extra doubtless to chunk.

For folks:

  • At all times have your little one ask the proprietor for permission earlier than petting a dog. Have them begin by petting them on the again, staying away from their face. 
  • Train youngsters to deal with pets with respect. Don’t allow them to pull the animal’s tail, experience on them, or pull their ears.
  • Supervise youngsters once they’re round canine. Be certain they don’t method them when they’re consuming, taking part in with toys or sleeping, or have puppies. Approaching a dog in these conditions could trigger them to reply in a territorial or shocked manner.
  • Train youngsters to stand nonetheless, put their arms to their sides, and have a look at their footwear if a dog reveals aggressive behaviors. Be as boring as potential and watch for the dog to depart earlier than transferring.
  • Train youngsters that canine can show physique language that reveals when they’re pressured, anxious, or afraid. These can embrace flattened ears, lip licking, tail between legs, yawning, shaking, laborious staring, barking, and growling.

“It is important to practice responsible pet ownership and understand basic dog body language to help keep children and dogs safe,” mentioned Tom Schermerhorn, Youth Training Supervisor at HSPPR. “Adult supervision while interacting with pets is always recommended, even with social dogs, and especially for children under ten years old.”

For extra info on dog or animal chunk damage prevention or common hospital info, go to childrenscolorado.org. To report a harmful/aggressive animal scenario involving a home pet, name Animal Legislation Enforcement at 719-302-8798, or name 911.

Go to hsppr.org to be taught extra.



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