According to the Centers for Disease Control, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and one in five dog bites results in injuries that require medical attention. There are ways to make dog bites less likely and to help prevent children from being bitten by dogs.
Teach children the following basic safety tips and review them regularly:
Don't approach an unfamiliar dog.
Don't scream or run from a dog.
Remain still when approached by an unknown dog.
If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still.
Don't play with a dog unless an adult is present.
Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
Don't disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
Don't pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
Also, teach children how to pet dogs. Before touching the animal, tuck their fingers into a loose fist and let the dog smell their hand first. Then, bring the hand up from under the dog's head. Dogs view hands coming down on them from above the head as potentially dangerous.
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