Protecting Yourself Against Dog Bites

Playing with a dog is usually a harmless activity, but for some people -- particularly kids -- the interaction can sometimes have terrifying consequences.

On Monday, a 4-year-old girl from Southwest Miami-Dade suffered a series of bloody wounds on her face and legs after being attacked by her neighbor’s dog. Witnesses say the dog -- a male terrier mix -- turned on the child after she reached for a toy.

The girl, whose identity hasn’t been released, was airlifted to Kendall Regional Hospital and had to undergo emergency surgery on Monday. She is now in stable condition.

This isn’t the first time a young child has had to endure severe injuries due to a dog bite. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million dog bites occur each year. Children between 5 and 9 years of age are most susceptible to these bites, and are more likely to receive medical attention for them.

While dog bites are sometimes unavoidable, there are simple steps adults and kids can take to prevent getting bitten. Here are some tips to avoid a potential dog attack from the CDC:

1.) Stand still

If an unfamiliar dog approaches, the CDC recommends that you stand still. If you are knocked over, curl into a ball, tuck your head, cover your ears and neck.

2.) Don’t bother a dog while it is sleeping, eating or chewing a toy

 Disturbing a dog while it’s caring for puppies is also not recommended.

3.) Refrain from direct eye contact and stand with the side of your body facing the dog

Looking at/facing the dog directly can appear aggresive and threatening to the dog. 

5.) Slowly back away or wait for the dog to pass by

6.) Don’t panic, make loud noises or run from the dog

Sudden, sharp movements may alarm an unfamiliar canine.

7.) Place a purse, bag or jacket to act as a buffer between you and the dog

For more tips, click here. 

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