Last year more than 4.7 million people were bitten by dogs in our country. Our Jacksonville Post Office along with the CDC are working together to help prevent dog bites. The third week of May is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Every year 800,000 of these bites are bad enough to need medical attention. Half of those bitten are kids. Our office has seen a rise in dog bites to children under the age of 4.
We are also unfortunately seeing many more homeowner’s insurance policies with dog bite exclusions. I urge anyone who has a dog to see if their policy covers dog bites.
I personally have spoken to Jacksonville school assemblies and pediatricians about ways to prevent dog bites.
Children should be taught the following when it comes to dealing with strange dogs:
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Do not run from a dog and scream.
- Remain motionless (e.g., “be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
- If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., “be still like a log”).
- Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
- Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
- Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
- Do not disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
- If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.