The Problem:  According to the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention, every 40 seconds, someone in the United States seeks

medical attention for a dog bite-related injury.  In 1994, some 4.7

million incidents were reported in the United States with nearly

800,000 people requiring medical treatment for dog bite-related

injuries. Most of the victims are children under 13 years old with

children five to nine years the most vulnerable.

Dog bites are a serious public health/safety problem that can

cause both physical and emotional damage to victims and

considerable cost to communities.  A dog’s tendency to bite

depends on such factors as heredity, obedience training,

socialization, health and the victim’s behavior. Dog bites are

largely preventable and prevention must begin with the owner and

how the owner interacts with the dog.  A dog should undergo

socialization with all members of the family, people outside the

family and other animals.

Just as children need to be taught how to be well-mannered

around other people, they need to be taught proper behavior when

around animals.  They need to learn what constitutes appropriate

play, why dogs may bite, what to do when dogs show danger signs,

and when dogs are not to be disturbed.

The BOW WOW OW video helps teach children how to act

responsibly and safely when interacting with dogs.  This 6-minute,

animated/live action video provides basic information on dog

communication. The video addresses common situations where

children could have a negative experience with dogs and then

illustrates the proper behavior children should possess while in

each situation.  These teaching points along with common sense

and adult supervision will go a long way in preventing dog

bite-related injuries.

Dr. Ronald D. Anderson, DVM, MPH

The State of Nevada and WAAAHOO Productions do not guarantee that

these educational materials will prevent children from being bitten or attacked by

their dog or other dogs. Dogs are animals and animal behavior is unpredictable.

Children should be supervised at all times, around dogs, even the family pet.

Children should be taught not to approach strange dogs.



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