Why Are Kids Prone to Dog Bites?

In Utah, dog bites are expensive. In a QuoteWizard study, the average cost per claim reached $45,760 in 2018. Around this period, the Beehive State settled over 110 of these claims for not less than $5 million.

Clients and plaintiffs won’t achieve this success without working with a personal injury attorney in Salt Lake City. Such a professional can help them achieve just compensation that can cover medical expenses and other related costs.

Sadly, with dog bites, the victims are usually children, who have to deal with pain and suffering.

Why Children Are Prone to Dog Bites

The United States has over 50 million dogs, which already increases the risks of dog bites. The data from the CDC even revealed that at least 800,000 of these incidents occur each year. Nearly half of this will need a trip to the ER.

While dogs can bite anyone, 50% involves children. Usually, these are kids between the ages of 5 and 9 years old. Of this group, around 25% will receive hospital treatment.

Why are the cases high among the children? Here are three reasons:

1. Children Might Not Identify Canine Language Correctly

Pets can also show emotions, but the way they do differs from humans. This lack of understanding can increase the odds of dog bites, based on a Czech study.

In it, the researchers recruited children who then viewed images showcasing various dog emotions. The experiment revealed that the participants were right less than 20% of the time.

dog playing with ball

Although they could likely identify joy and friendliness, only one-third of them could associate the body language to fearfulness or threat. These are the dogs that had a higher chance to bite.

2. Dog Bites Usually Happen in Homes

Many of the reported dog bites occur in the children’s homes, so they are more likely to be pets. Pets also have personality traits and temperaments. Like humans (or even babies), when mishandled, they might feel fearful or threatened. However, unlike humans, they might use biting to express their feelings.

Some dogs also view biting as part of the game they play with their human friends. These animals, though, have powerful jaws. A nip for them might be a painful bite to the children.

3. Children and Animals Have a Unique Bond

The connection between pets and animals is something science cannot fathom yet, but it’s there. Parents can see their kids’ eyes light up when they see a puppy in the park. Little ones beg their moms and dads to get them a pet or encourage their parents to bring them to the zoo or aquarium.

Children are more likely to get playful with animals, even with those that are “strangers” to them. That can be a problem as they might threaten a neighbor’s dog.

Usually, Not the Dog’s Fault

When a dog bites, it seems natural to point fingers on the canine. But unless the dog has rabies, which can affect its neurological function and behavior, pups can bite because of strong emotions, such as fear or discomfort.

For parents whose child experiences a dog bite, it might be best to ask why. If they see other parties to be at fault, they have a legal remedy. They can use it helped by a Salt Lake City personal injury attorney.

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