Keeping Kids Safe

Reports of dog bites and animal attacks are always disturbing. However, when the victim is a child, especially a young child, these attacks are truly horrific. Dog bites and animal attacks are preventable and you can take steps to keep your kids safe from harm. Teach your kids these tips for how to be safe around dogs, and reduce their chances of being bitten or injured.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dogs

Teach your children the do’s don’ts of dogs. These simple steps are recommended by the Humane Society of the United States and should help keep your kids safe around dogs.

Kids and Dogs Safety Tips: The Do’s

  • Do Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

There is truth in the old saying, let sleeping dogs lie. A dog that is suddenly awoken may become frightened and bite out of fear. Dogs are also more territorial and prone to aggression if they are feeding or chewing. Female dogs that are caring for their pups are also more likely to be aggressive. Teach your kids to let sleeping (or eating, or nursing) dogs lie.

  • Do Keep Your Hands at Your Sides

Dogs are often intimidated by raised hands, especially if they have been abused. With dogs, fear is often a precursor to a bite attack. Teach your kids to keep their hands down when approached by a strange dog.

The Don’ts of Dog Safety

  • Don’t Approach

Triggering a dog’s territorial instincts almost always causes a dog to escalate. When people push in on a dog’s turf, they may be setting themselves up for a dog bite. Don’t forget that dogs regard their people as territory too. Keep your kids safe and tell them not to approach strange dogs, even if they are tied up or on a leash.

  • Don’t Tease

Teach your children to not tease or provoke dogs. Dogs can react violently to teasing, even if the child didn’t mean any real harm.

  • Don’t Make Eye Contact

Some dogs are extremely uncomfortable when people make eye contact with them. The reason is that among dogs eye contact is one of the dominance behaviors used to sort out who is in charge of whom. If your child makes eye contact, they may trigger the dog’s need to know where it stands in the pack, which could lead to a dog attack.

  • Don’t Run, Don’t Scream

Dogs are descended from wolves, and they still have an echo of the ancient need to chase down prey. Although running away may be an understandable reaction to a dog attack, fleeing may provoke a dog to chase and capture. Similarly, screams and shouts excite a dog, and may worsen its behavior. Teach your children not to run or scream around strange dogs.