What you do in the moments after a dog bites your child is vital for their physical health. It can also be the decider on whether you receive compensation or damages for the injuries inflicted on your child by the dog.
Find out what to do when a dog bites children below.
1. Assess the Wound
First and foremost, assess the wound and treat the area. Attend to your child first, before following up with the dog owner.
If the wound is in a non-vital area and hasn’t broken skin, then you can assume minimal damage has been done and your child will be ok.
Unfortunately, many dog bites are to the face and neck and can puncture blood vessels. If your child is bleeding heavily, call emergency services. Apply pressure to the wound.
If your child has been bitten elsewhere and is bleeding a little, squeeze the bite to drain extra blood to flush bacteria out of the area.
2. Get the Owner’s Details
Make sure you or a bystander get the dog and owner’s details if you don’t know them. This will help later when seeking advice from an attorney.
3. Seek Medical Attention
If the dog has injured your child enough to break the skin, then you’ll need to seek medical attention. Dog’s mouths are full of bacteria. Some dogs may carry rabies, so your child will need to be treated for that also.
If you attend a hospital with a dog bite, the doctor will likely assess the area and clean it out. Rarely do they stitch up the bite, as this traps in bacteria. Some bites to the face may require sutures to prevent scarring.
4. Take Photos of the Injuries
Just like you would in a car accident, take photos of the injuries inflicted by the dog. Make sure the photos are high-quality. Use a ruler or measuring tape in the photos so they can be measured at a later date.
5. Contact a Lawyer
After the dust has settled, find a good personal injury lawyer. They’ll be able to present your case for receiving compensation for the dog bite.
6. Report the Dog Attack
Immediately after the attack happens, report it to the police so they have a record of the attack. After your child has been seen to by a medical professional, report the dog bite to animal control in that area.
The details you collected of the dog and owner will come in handy here. You’ll need these details to report the incident. If you couldn’t get the owner’s details, still report the incident with as much information as you can.
Animal control may already have a few dogs on their radar in that area that fit the description.
Take Action Immediately When a Dog Bites Children
If a dog bites your child, or you witness when a dog bites children, then take the above steps immediately.
Following our guidelines will ensure you follow the appropriate channels to protect your child’s health and receive the compensation you deserve.
For more information on dogs and safety around children, take a look at the other articles on our blog.