When a dog attacks and bites a child, the consequences can range from serious tissue wounds to cranial injuries. DogsBite.org reports that larger breeds, such as Rottweilers and pit bulls, usually cause the most damage in attacks on children from age 6 to age twelve.
While dog bites can happen to almost anyone, children comprise a significant number of victims, and several common factors may reveal the reason why.
Size and weight
Many children involved in dog attacks where a large dog knocks them down tend to suffer more extensive injuries, especially when the dog uses its jaws to grasp the child by the head or neck. A child’s size and weight, both of which are lesser than an average adult, are usually more vulnerable in such attacks where the dog is large and muscular.
A greater likelihood of interaction
Children tend to have a great interest in animals, and when that animal is a large dog that is poorly socialized, a meeting between the two can end in a serious attack. These interactions may take place anywhere, including:
- At a neighbor’s house
- A park
- A schoolyard
Strays that wander a neighborhood may also increase the chances of a dog attack on a child.
While most people trust their pets, leaving a child alone with a dog can create a dangerous situation. Hot weather, illness and increasing age may all change how a dog behaves. Even smaller dogs can cause facial or neck injuries to a child, so constant supervision between the two may reduce the risk.
Dog bites can cause far-reaching effects in children, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and a new or increased fear of all dogs. These may linger for years if the issues are not addressed.