Preventing Dog Bites in the Pediatric Population

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Abstract

Introduction

There are 4.5 million dog bites per year, mostly occurring in the summer months, and 20% of these injuries require medical intervention. Children 5–9 years old are at the highest risk for dog bites, because children tend to be careless and inexperienced with dogs, are less likely to see danger, and are less likely to have a false sense of security when interacting with dogs. Community education is the most effective way to prevent dog bites, but there are inconsistencies as to how to provide this education. Most dog bites in younger children occur during positive interactions. By encouraging proper interaction, dog bites and related injuries can be prevented.

Methods

Research articles related to ages of children attacked, type of dogs, and injuries sustained were reviewed. In addition, preventive strategies were compared to determine which are most effective.

Results

Four sources support the need for preventive strategies. Educating dog owners and parents on the dangers are an important part of prevention. Parents can then teach their children about safe interactions with dogs.

Conclusion

Following an extensive literature review, it is evident that there is a lack of preventive strategies available to the community. By working with the general public and families, injuries from dog bites can be prevented, thus avoiding hospital treatment.

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