Nothing is worse than having a child injured worse if it’s by an animal you trust like your dog or your neighbors dog. Here are 6 Things You Should Do If Your Child Is A Injured Victim Of A Dog Bite.
6 Things You Should Do If Your Child Is An Injured Victim Of A Dog Bite
Not all dogs are rabid. Not all dogs are aggressive. Not all dogs exhibit signs of antisocial behavior such as growling, teeth-bearing, and lunging. However, a lot of dogs do fall under these labels, and most of the time, we don’t really have the luxury of waiting to find out whether a dog poses a real threat or not. This is especially so for our children who have neither the knowledge nor the ability to identify and defend themselves against an aggressive dog. Because we can’t guarantee that our young ones won’t ever be put in this situation, the best practice is to prepare for the worst.
1. Get your Child Away
The first and most important thing to do in an incident like this is to get your child away from the dog’s line of sight. In addition to diffusing the situation, this will prevent the dog from further harming or pursuing your child. Your best bet is to get between your child and the dog, then instruct your child to get into a car or a house. If you can’t do that, the next best option is to carry your child off the ground until the owner steps in. Reserve fighting back as your last resort as it is more likely to aggravate a predator than to stop them. It’s best that you don’t take your chances unless you need to.
2. Take Pictures
After a traumatic experience, your child needs to feel safe and protected by you. Nevertheless, you also need to act fast when it comes to gathering evidence. After reassuring your child, according to cd-lawyers.com, an essential step is taking pictures of the wounds and the scene as a whole. Should you choose to press charges, pictures will help your lawyer fight for your rights in court. This might not seem important compared to the more immediate steps, like seeking out medical treatment, but it is. Your child’s treatment costs may become expensive. Rather than carrying a financial burden that should not have been yours, to begin with, having evidence will help hold the negligent dog owner accountable.
3. Medical Treatment
After the quick pictures, examine your child’s wounds. Some wounds will need immediate medical attention. Others may only require first aid and close monitoring. If the damage is severe or if you suspect the dog has rabies – or hasn’t been vaccinated against it – call 911 immediately. Waiting will only harm your child. However, if the bite hasn’t broken through the skin and the bleeding isn’t heavy, wash the wound with soap and warm water, apply pressure with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding, and apply antibiotic cream. After that, bandage the wound and schedule a doctor’s appointment.
4. Exchange Contact Information
This is a tricky step to remember amid the chaos, but it has its perks. Having the dog owner’s contact information (full name, phone, and address) will help your lawyer – and the authorities – reach the person responsible. Aside from that, contacting the dog owner will also help you find out information about the dog’s vaccination history which will give your doctors valuable information on what they’re up against. Just remember to do it as soon as you can because a less than honorable person might run away from the scene.
5. Contact Animal Control
Reporting the situation to the authorities is a must. Animal control keeps track of dogs and their ‘criminal’ records. The department also has the authority to take action when it comes to aggressive dogs by filing hearing petitions with the court of law. If at the hearing, the dog was indeed deemed a threat to public safety, the court will take punitive actions against the owners and their dogs.
6. Contact an Attorney
While sometimes legal action is necessary, the last thing anyone wants to do after having seen their kid get severely injured by a dog is deal with paperwork, opposition lawyers, and the whole evidence gathering process. If you wish to take legal action, contact a specialized dog bite attorney as soon as you know your child is safe. The sooner you start the legal process, the better your chances of winning.
As you’ve read, there is a little more to dog bites than tending to the immediate physical threat. You must also care for your child’s emotional well-being while making sure you have enough information to take legal action and get the justice you and your child deserve. Now that you have an idea of what to do, try and live out the scenario in your head a couple of times. That way, if the situation ever happens in real life, you’ll be able to act fast and in your child’s best interests.