Every year, more than 500 Florida residents sustain dog bite injuries severe enough to require hospitalization, and two Floridians die due to injuries from dog bites. Injury rates in Florida are highest among children between the ages of one and nine years old. However, dog bites can also result in serious injuries for teenagers and adults. In 2006, three Florida residents 25 years or older died as a result of dog attacks.
Studies show that unneutered (intact) male dogs are associated with 70-76 percent of reported dog bites, emphasizing the importance of neutering pets. The number of dog bite injuries increases during the months of April through September, with the peak occurring in July. We encourage everyone to consider the following safety tips when interacting with dogs and thank all of the responsible pet owners for taking the appropriate steps to control and vaccinate their pets.
SAFETY TIPS FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Never run from a dog and never scream around a dog.
- If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try and place something in between yourself and the dog.
- If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball, cover your face and stay still.
- Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
- Children should never approach or play with dogs unless supervised by an adult.
- Children should tell an adult if they see a stray dog or a dog acting strangely.
- Adults should never leave an infant or young child alone with any dog, not even the family pet.
WHEN YOU OR YOUR CHILD APPROACH A DOG, REMEMBER TO:
- Ask the owner for permission to pet the animal.
- Wait and watch the dog’s body language.
- Let the pet sniff you.
- Pet the dog in the direction of its fur.
When any animal bite occurs, the bite victim should seek medical attention immediately. If you’ve been injured as a result of a dog bite please call our office 24/7 at 727-784-8191 or 1-866-Law-Fran, or use the form to the right for your FREE Case Evaluation.
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