While most people see their dogs as a member of the family, bites and attacks still occur, and few victims suffer more permanent scarring than children. According to the National Library of Medicine, children ages 10 and younger are most at risk of obtaining serious physical scarring or loss of feeling in various areas of the body after a bite, which may cause mental or emotional as they mature.
Understanding the risk factors behind dog attacks in young children can help parents and caregivers prevent such incidents and safeguard their kids, even around dogs that live in the same home as them.
A child’s height is a major factor when it comes to how seriously a dog bite can affect them. During an attack, a dog is likely to jump up and bite, and a child’s face and neck are much more vulnerable than an adult would be during such an incident. As such, a child may receive traumatic injuries to the face, including:
- The eyes
- The nose
- Mouth and tongue
During a dog attack on a small child, these areas of the body are most at risk.
Young children, especially toddlers, often overbalance when they run and play, and this could increase the prey drive in certain dog species, especially those bred to hunt. This could provoke an unexpected attack, especially in dogs unfamiliar with children.
Most scarring takes place in attacks when the dog’s jaw strength and bite do not allow for easy release during an attack. When this occurs, the dog may drag the child, which can result in further injuries.