Dogs can and do attack people of all ages, every year, but children in particular face a high level of risk. There are a few different reasons for this that it is important for parents to understand.
First of all, many children simply love dogs and do not comprehend the potential danger. This is especially true for a child who has a kind pet dog at home and does not realize that not all dogs share this temperament. The child could run up to a strange dog to pet or hug it, startle the animal, and suffer serious injuries.
Due to their small size and low strength, children also are in more danger when they do get attacked. These instances are more often fatal. An adult may get bitten in the leg or the hands while fending the animal off, but a child’s head and neck are at the dog’s head level, so the injuries can be far more severe.
Finally, children may do things that make the situation worse without realizing it. For instance, running from a dog generally just escalates the situation, whereas staying calm and talking to the dog while backing away can diffuse things. Children will simply give in to their natural instincts and run, though, increasing the risk that they face.
As a parent, you hope never to find yourself in this position, but it does happen. If your child has suffered serious injuries or is even in danger of tragically passing away after the attack, you must understand all of the legal options that you have at your disposal.