The danger of keeping dogs around young kids
In California and around the country, parents are starting to worry about the dangers dogs may present to their children. These pets are a major part of the lives of many families. However, many parents are facing the reality that their dog could physically harm their children or other kids. In fact, statistics show that more than 50,000 children 6 and under suffered injuries from dogs in 2014 alone.
The risks to children from dog bites are more serious than the risks to adults. Children are smaller and weaker, for one, and their lack of stature puts them at eye and face level with the dog. Experts note that children can suffer serious injury or even death because most dog bites occur to the face, head and neck areas. This is causing significant pause for parents who want to keep their children safe.
Experts note that parents are likely to be vigilant around unfamiliar dogs, but even the trusted family dog can be a danger. Preventing injuries caused by the family dog often comes down to teaching children not to treat the dog as if it is another human. Some studies have shown that dogs don't like to be hugged, for instance, and can act out when children play with their ears and tails. Parents should recognize these differences and teach their children accordingly.
Parents whose children are injured by a dog bite from a dog owned by another person may want to meet with an attorney to see what recourse they have. California law in general imposes strict liability on an owner of a dog that injures another person, and thus there does not have to be any prior knowledge of the dog's propensity to bite for the owner to be liable for the resulting damages.