A 7-year-old child was taken to the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in late March 2017 after being bitten by a pit bull that was loose in her neighborhood. The 2-year-old pit bull had managed to escape from his home, then attacked the girl, leaving her with deep lacerations in her arm and arm pit.
The dog’s owner stated that the rabies vaccinations for the dog are current, but the law states that any dog who bites a child above the waist must be confiscated.
Why Children Are often Victims of Dog Bites
It has been estimated that more than 4 million people suffer dog bites annually, with 800,000 of these injuries requiring hospital visits and nearly half being children.
Children – especially those under the age of 5 – are more prone to dog bites for a few reasons:
- A dog may consider itself superior because of their relative size
- A child may not understand a dog’s boundaries (i.e. pulling its tail, ears or fur)
- A child may startle a dog by movement or noise, causing it to attack
- If a child is running, a dog may view the child as “prey”
How to Treat a Dog Bite
If your child has been bitten by a dog, it is important that you take these steps:
- Control the bleeding: Take a clean towel or washcloth and apply gentle pressure to the wound until the bleeding stops
- Clean the site of the bite: Wash the wound carefully with soap and water. Hold the wound under running water for five minutes or so to rinse away any bacteria
- Cover the wound: Pat the area dry, apply an antibiotic ointment, and place a fresh bandage over the bite or scratch
- Locate the dog’s owner: It is important to try to find the dog’s owner so that you can ask the owner if the dog’s rabies shots are up to date
Contact your doctor if you do not know the dog that bit your child, if the wound is deep or on your child’s face, or if the bleeding cannot be stopped after ten minutes of pressure.
Get Legal Help with Your Dog Bite Claim with Keith Bregoff, PA
The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA in Vero Beach has helped dog bite victims in Florida recover significant compensation for their physical, emotional and mental injuries.
To arrange for your free consultation with an expert dog bite attorney, call us today at (772) 492-8967.