Rates of Dog Bites in Children Surge Amidst COVID-19
We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on many of us who are now living in close quarters with little to no breaks from the daily routine. Between makeshift workstations that offer little room for concentration and schooling that is now taking place in living rooms with the assistance of parents who never intended to be teachers, it is not surprising that all of the members of many families are feeling more stressed than usual. In all the chaos, it is easy to overlook that it isn’t only the two-legged family members who are experiencing heightened anxiety. Pets are also being affected by these unusual circumstances and in particular, dogs are apparently being affected. According to a recently published article in the Journal of Pediatrics, the rates of children who are going to the emergency department as a result of dog bites have increased nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why Are Rates Increasing?
- The stay-at-home orders implemented earlier in the year likely increased exposure between dogs and children
- Pet adoptions and fostering surged at the beginning of the pandemic, meaning there are many situations across the nation where dogs are adjusting to a new environment with new children
- There is less adult supervision when dogs and children are interacting in many contexts because adults are now juggling more responsibilities at home
- Human stress can affect pets and cause them to feel anxiety, and when dogs are anxious, they can uncharacteristically become aggressive or exhibit dangerous behavior
Combatting Dog Bites and Keeping Children Safe
The good news is that there are things you can implement to help ensure that your children and pets continue to thrive concurrently during these tense times. You should:
- Never leave a small child alone with a dog no matter how friendly the dog is or familiar the two are
- Take your dog on frequent walks away from the house and ensure that you always keep your dog on a leash when doing so
- Try to give your dog individual attention for a few minutes every day and look at online videos on forums like YouTube for free training tips
- Talk to your family members about what would occur in the unfortunate event that you become too sick to care for your dog
Obtain Competent Legal Help After a Dog Bite
Anyone who has been attacked by a dog should seek medical care right away. Afterward, you should consult with a trained legal professional to find out your options if the dog that bit you or your child belongs to someone else. As the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm, we are experienced accident victim advocates who will work zealously to get you the full compensation that you deserve. We can evaluate your claim and help you learn more about your rights and how to maximize them. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Ocala, Tampa, Bradenton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers and Daytona Beach areas.