Dogs may be man’s best friend, but even the gentlest and smallest
of canines can bite without much warning. Emergency Room doctors typically
treat children for severe
dog bite injuries more often than adults. Kids may be more susceptible to dog attacks
when they aren’t taught how to interact safely with animals. Here
at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, our Emergency Room physicians
recommend taking proactive steps to protect families.
Require Parental Supervision
Supervising children when they are near dogs is one of the most effective
ways to protect them from dog bites. Adults can remind children to interact
with their furry friends properly. An adult can also intervene quickly
if need be. If you see a dog attack your child, immediately grasp the
dog’s back legs and lift them up as if you were holding a wheelbarrow.
Walk the dog backward until you can secure the dog in another room or
Demonstrate Appropriate Petting Techniques
Use age-appropriate language to explain to your child why he or she shouldn’t
approach unfamiliar dogs without permission and parental supervision.
When it is appropriate for your child to pet a dog, demonstrate how you
hold your hand out for the dog to sniff before gently petting the dog
on the chest or under the chin. Tell your child that it is never okay
to pull a dog’s ears or tail, or to take away food or toys.
Discuss How to Handle Aggressive Dogs
Every child should know
how to respond to an aggressive dog. If a dog attacks, your child should stand “still like a tree,”
remain quiet, and look at the ground instead of at the dog. If a dog knocks
your child over, he or she should curl up into a ball, and cover the head
and ears with his or her hands.
The Emergency Room at
Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is available 24/7, every day of the year to treat all sorts of children’s
health emergencies. Our hospital in Thousand Oaks features a dedicated
Pediatric Emergency Room with specially trained staff, private rooms,
and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). You can call our
hospital at (877) 888-5746, but please direct medical emergencies to a