Avoiding Dog Bites in Florida
A dog may look cute and cuddly, but when that dog bites, everything changes. Often, a canine will show definite signs of not wanting to be approached. Think of the unfriendly Chihuahua that makes its unfriendliness known if you dare to pet it. Unfortunately, that is not the case with every situation. You cannot always tell a dog’s temperament just by looking at it.
Florida: Big State for Dog Bites
In 2017, Florida was one of the three top states for dog bites. The Insurance Information Institute stated that Florida ranked second with 1,345 claims reported for injuries. These were the dog bites that required medical care. There are no doubt hundreds of less severe bites that are unreported.
The most recent national report reveals that about 4.5 million people are injured annually. Most of those who are bitten are little boys under 10 years of age. About 19% of dog bite victims will need medical treatment for the bite.
The statistics for dog bites have not changed much in 20 years since the CDC reported, at that time, more children had received dog bites than is currently the case. Still, children are the most vulnerable.
Teaching Kids to Read the Signs
There are certain signs kids can learn that will help them be safer around dogs. Kids should be taught to not disturb a dog that is eating, caring for puppies, or sleeping. In any of these situations, even a good-tempered dog may snap at or bite a child.
Young children should also be taught not to approach a dog without an adult present. Running up to an unfamiliar dog because it looks cute or cuddly can lead to tragic results. Kids need to stay away from stray dogs and let an adult know if they see a dog acting strangely.
New Zealand’s Simple Approach
The Department of Conservation in Dunedin, New Zealand, devised a simple way dog owners can let people know if their pet is friendly or not. It involves leashes colored red, green, orange, or yellow. The stoplight colors are easily recognizable by kids and if they know the meaning of the colors, they can understand whether or not a dog is approachable.
If you see a dog with a red leash, it means the personality and temperament of the dog is such that you should not approach it – Stop. A dog with an orange leash means that the dog is cautious, and you should approach with care. If the leash is green, it means the pet is friendly. Yellow leashes indicate that the pet is blind or deaf.
The leash color system is one that could work well, especially in protecting kids. Whether it will catch on here in the United States remains to be seen. Meanwhile, teach your children to watch for the signals a dog gives before approaching it.
Some dog attacks are fatal, some are disfiguring, and most are traumatic. The Tison Law Group is here to help you in your time of need, and we provide excellent representation in matters of personal injury and other legal areas. Contact us through our website for more information or call to schedule a free initial consultation. We are located in Tampa, Florida.