Last week, a stray dog attacked an 11 year old girl near downtown Houston, in the Clayton Homes housing community. According to officers, the girl provoked the attack by tugging on one of the dog's puppies. The girl suffered deep puncture wounds on her leg, although she is expected to make a full recovery. Animal control captured the dog and her puppies near where the incident occurred.
Although this accident was scary, it wasn't unusual. According to the CDC, about 4½ million people are bitten by dogs each year. About 20 percent of those bitten require medical treatment. Children are especially at risk of being bitten. Children between the ages of 5 and 9 have the highest rate of injuries related to dog bites among all age groups. In addition, children are more likely to need medical attention for dog bites than adults.
There are steps parents can take to protect their children from dog bites. It's important that children do not approach an unfamiliar dog. If a dog comes close to a child, he or she should remain motionless, and do not run or scream around the dog. If the dog knocks a child over, they should roll into a ball and be still. It's especially important that dogs that are caring for puppies, eating or sleeping are not disturbed.
If a child does get bitten, it's important to seek medical care. Also, if the bite is serious, you may wish to consult with an attorney. The owner of the dog or the property owner could be held legally liable for the injuries. If you or your child has been bitten by a dog in Houston, call the skilled personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 713-489-9493, or visit our Facebook page.