The Most Innocent of All: Why Children Are More Likely to Be Florida Dog Bite Victims

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Legally reviewed by:

Erik Abrahamson, J.D. December 23, 2014
child dog bite

If you think being bitten by a dog is terrifying and painful as an adult, just imagine what it feels like to a child. The fear, confusion, and physical agony cannot be imagined unless you’ve been a victim of such trauma yourself.

Unfortunately, children are actually more likely to be bitten by dogs than adults. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why.

Common Causes of Child Dog Bites

1. Children are at a physical disadvantage. Due to their small size, younger children can easily be knocked down by even a medium-sized dog. Their shorter legs don’t enable them to run away as quickly either, leaving them at the mercy of these unrestrained, poorly trained animals.

2. They don’t understand that not all dogs are friendly. If children haven’t been taught how to deal with an unfamiliar dog, they are at risk of being bitten or attacked. A good rule of thumb is to first ask the owner if the dog is friendly and if you can pet it. This is assuming the owner is around, which they should be. Then make a fist and hold it nose-level at the dog so they can sniff it. If the dog snaps, growls, or backs away, do not proceed with further interactions.

3. They can’t yet read a dog’s signals. Even if they’re not experts on dogs, most adults can recognize the signs a dog gives to say “stay away.” Growling, raised hackles, and keeping its body low to the ground indicates a dog feels threatened or defensive. But children’s limited experience with dogs may mean they don’t know how to interpret these signals and may continue approaching the dog – an act that can end in a child dog bite.

4. They may accidentally trespass. When you’re a child, there’s little difference between a neighbor’s yard and yours. In their natural curiosity and love of fun, children may not realize they’re wandering into dangerous, unknown territory – possibly with a dangerous dog just around the corner.

Talk to Experienced Dog Bite Injury Lawyers in Florida

Would you like more information about what to do after a Florida dog bite? Our firm may be able to help. Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at 1-800-538-4878. Call us today for a free evaluation.