In June of this year, a neighbor’s dog attacked a three-year-old girl after she walked past and fell on it by accident. The dog bit the girl in the face and did not let go until its owner struck it. The girl was hospitalized in serious condition.
Sadly, it is common for dogs to bite people. According to the Center for Disease Control, dogs bit about 4.5 million people each year and dogs belonging to the victim’s friends, family or neighbors cause almost half of those bites.
Naturally, children are at greater physical risk from the gross injury of a dog bite. Their smaller size means that the laceration or puncture caused by a dog bite can injure and scar a proportionately larger part of the child’s hand or face than an adult. When the risk of infection of the wound is added to the mix, the danger increases.
However, kids are more vulnerable than are adults in another area. An attack by a dog can often be far more traumatic to a child, who is both small in size and at a sensitive stage of development, than to an adult. A study at Beijing University in China found that more than five percent of children who were bitten by dogs had symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), a figure that jumped to more than 25% if the injury was severe. Even without a full-blown PTSD diagnosis, the anxiety and fear that a child carries with them after an attack can have untold effects on their development.
If your child has been bitten by a dog and suffered an injury then you should speak to a personal injury lawyer about your options.