Lack of proper adult supervision is responsible for dog bite injuries in children
Cape Town – The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) treated 37 dog bite injuries during the first quarter of the year.
Of these, two were fatal.
There have been numerous reports of children being attacked by dogs this year.
A report from ChildSafe shows that last year 107 dog bite injuries were reported.
RCWMCH spokesperson Dwayne Evans said that as a dedicated pediatric trauma center, they often see and treat serious dog bite injuries.
“Many childhood injuries, including dog bites, can be attributed to the lack of adequate adult supervision,” he said.
Evans said that most dog bites occur when a dog feels threatened and children often are unable to identify situations in which a dog may feel threatened, proper adult supervision is needed to help identify and avoid these situations.
He said there are a number of ways to prevent dog injuries in children.
He said never leave a small child alone with a dog, whether it’s the family dog, a dog you know, or even a dog you’ve been assured to behave. well, any dog can bite.
Evans said to be alert to potentially dangerous situations, to educate families on neutering male dogs, and to avoid choosing dangerous breeds as pets.
He said children should avoid strange and stray dogs and seek permission from a dog owner before petting or approaching a dog.
Evans said that while animal temperament and training play a role, it is commonly believed that some dog breeds are known to be more aggressive than others, injuries vary between traditionally aggressive breeds and more placid.
“Unsterilized male dogs are, by far, responsible for most of the most serious and fatal attacks,” he said.
RCWMCH Social Work Department Head Carla Brown said: “The RCWMCH takes dog bite cases very seriously as we have unfortunately witnessed the severity of physical injuries in children such as injuries. removal, eye injuries, loss of a limb, major scars, the immediate psychological adjustment problems some children face after the dog bite and the long-term post-traumatic issues that children experience ” ,
Animal Welfare Society of South Africa spokesperson Allan Perrins said most dogs instinctively react to a threat in two ways. They run away or fight.
He said there are many triggers, provocation and teasing are common causes.
Perrins said that all dogs have the ability to bite and will bite if their tolerance limits are exceeded, people should be as weary of small breeds (with big attitudes) as they are of large or powerful breeds.
He said the difference between being bitten by a small breed versus a large breed is the force of the bite.
“Pit bulls have life-threatening bites that crush bones, while smaller breeds like dachshunds or chihuahuas are more likely to break with less devastating consequences,” he said.