Summer season is here again, and it’s that time of the year where kids are encouraged to play outside. Unfortunately, this is also one of those times wherein the chances of dog bites also increases because kids are often on the street. According to the Department of Health (DOH), almost 50% of the recorded cases of dog bites are among kids who are 15 years old and below.
Most kids have a strong bond with our furry canine friends, but as parents, we should always keep in mind that dog bites are still a possibility even if it’s a family dog. We should also teach our kids how to approach other dogs properly and what to do in case a dog threatens them or attacks them.
What To Tell Your Kids When Approaching Dogs
- Avoid going near strange or stray dogs
- Don’t go near nursing dogs
- Get an adult’s permission when you want to play with a dog
- Never tease, poke, or grab a dog
- Don’t ride or step on a dog
- Never pet a dog without asking the owner’s permission
These are just simple tips to prevent your kids from being bitten by dogs. But, what should they do if a dog attacks or approaches them? Here are some tips to teach your kids:
- Don’t agitate the situation by running, screaming and making sudden movements
- Stay still like a tree with your arms on your side with your hands cupped
- Never make direct eye contact with the dog
- If the dog walks away, slowly move towards a safe space and tell an adult about the dog
- If the dog bites you, immediately let an adult know
Additionally, if the dog bites and knocks your child to the ground, they should curl up like a ball and protect their neck and ears by putting their arms around their head. Their fingers should also be kept inside a fist to protect them.
What Should You Do In Case Of A Dog Bite?
According to the DOH, rabies is still one of the major health problems most Filipinos are facing. Each year, the department estimates that 200 people die from this infection. DOH undersecretary, Eric Domingo also says that 99% of rabies transmissions are from dogs.
If your child gets bitten by a dog, press on the wound gently to cause bleeding as this helps to flush out germs. Wash the wound with clean running water and soap for at least 10 minutes. Washing the wound drastically brings down the risk of rabies by 50%. After which make sure you bring your child to the nearest healthcare facility to get treatment for the dog bite.
Dog bites are dangerous no matter how minor the injury is. Seeking immediate medical attention is imperative to avoid infection. If it’s a stray dog that bit your child, make sure to report the dog to the nearest barangay. If it’s someone else’s dog, let the dog owner know and ask their cooperation. If you have a family dog at home, make sure that they’re vaccination records are up-to-date. This is not only to protect your child but other people who come in contact with your dog as well.
You have to remember that no matter how well-trained any dog is, accidents still happen and as parents, we can only do so much to prevent these things from happening. Let’s all teach our kids how to act and respect animals before they learn it the hard way.