Nearly 75 million dogs live in the United States. Though most are harmless, dog bites are still a frequent and serious occurrence. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 4.5 million dog bites occur each year, 30,000 of which require victims to undergo reconstructive surgery. Unfortunately, children account for 60 percent of reported dog bite injuries.
Dog bites may be even more of a problem in cities like Detroit. As the area’s economic woes increase, so does its stray animal problem. According to recent estimates, as many as 50,000 stray dogs could be roaming Detroit’s streets, killing pets and frightening homeowners.
Regardless of where you live, here are a few safety tips to remember that can help you prevent dog bites.
- Choose a dog breed that is not known for aggressive traits, and keep small children under constant supervision around dogs.
- Do not approach stray or unfamiliar dogs.
- Don’t approach a dog with quick motions, especially when it is eating or sleeping.
- Dog bites are dangerous injuries, since a dog’s teeth can injure bones, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves deep beneath the skin. If a dog bite has occurred follow these steps.
- Seek medical care if the dog bite punctures or tears the skin.
- Always seek medical care for a child who has been bitten.
- Attempt to write down important information such as the dog’s breed and immunization status, which can help a medical professional treat a bite injury.
With proper care and supervision a majority of dog bites can be prevented. If you are bitten by a dog, you should visit a medical professional to treat the injury and prevent a potential infection.