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Dog bite attack. A couple's dog fatally mauled their two-year-old son. A California injury lawyer offers guidelines for preventing dog bite attacks.

A San Diego family’s German shepherd attacked their two-year-old son early last Saturday morning. The mother was sleeping when the attack occurred and the father, who is in the military, was away on deployment. The boy was rushed to the hospital, where he died from his injuries, reported the Los Angeles Times.  Unfortunately, young children are at the greatest risk of sustaining injuries from a dog bite: half of the 800,000 Americans who require medical attention for dog bites each year are children. An experienced California injury lawyer offers these guidelines for preventing your child from becoming a dog bite victim. 

Before choosing a dog, you should consult with a veterinarian to determine which breed will be suitable for your home and lifestyle. You should avoid breeds that have a history of aggression, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers. Pit bulls were responsible for 44 percent of the fatal dog bite attacks in 2009, while Rottweilers accounted for 13 percent. 

Expose your child to the dog you are considering bringing home. If your child is fearful of the dog, you may want to choose a different dog or breed, or wait until your child is older to have a dog. 

Once the dog becomes a member of the family, it is important to properly socialize and train it. Do not allow your children to play aggressive games with the dog, as this may condition the dog to behave aggressively. Teach your dog to be obedient and submissive. Spaying or neutering your dog will also prevent aggressive behavior. 

Small children should never be left unsupervised with a dog. They may unwittingly provoke a dog by attempting to play with it while it is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies. Young children are also less likely to notice indications that the dog is becoming bothered or aggressive. Children between the ages of 5 and 9 suffer more dog bite injuries than any other age group. Children under the age of 4 are most likely to sustain head or neck injuries. Dogs attack boys more frequently than girls. 

Outside of the home, children are more likely to come into contact with unfamiliar or stray dogs. A California injury lawyer suggests that you teach your children these safety techniques for avoiding a dog bite attack.

Instruct your child to avoid unfamiliar or stray dogs. If your child passes one on the street, he or she should not look the dog in the eye, smile at the dog, scream, or run. Instead, tell your child to remain still, as quick movements may provoke the dog. In the unfortunate event that a dog pulls your child to the ground, he or she should roll into a ball and remain still. 

After a dog bite attack, seek medical attention immediately. You may also want to consult with a reputable dog bite attorney to determine if the dog’s owner is legally obligated to compensate you for your hospital bills and medical expenses. In California, the laws holding dog owners liable for the harm their pets inflict on others vary from county to county and change frequently. An experienced California injury lawyer will explain how the laws in your specific locality affect your case. 

James Ballidis is a California injury lawyer specializing in dog bite claims. He is also the author of Avoid Lawyer Advertising Hype, an informative book designed to aid accident victims in researching and selecting a qualified personal injury lawyer. To request a free copy, call 866-981-5596. 


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