Millions of people in the United States own dogs, which adds up to an almost equal number of dog bite injuries each year. The American Animal Hospital Association reports that almost 5 million people suffer dog bites each year, and of those victims, many are children.
When toddlers and young children experience dog bites, certain body parts may take the brunt of the attack due to their proximity to the animal and the circumstances of the attack.
Small children are often vulnerable to getting bitten in the face by a dog because in some cases they are at eye level when the animal decides to attack. The cheeks, chin and eyes may get severely injured, depending on the jaw strength and size of the attacking dog. The more powerful the jaw pressure the dog possesses, the more likely your child is to suffer a bite that could result in facial scarring.
Even small dogs can inflict serious bites, especially to a toddler’s hands and fingers. This tends to happen when the child reaches toward a dog that is aggressive or tends to bite out of fear. With larger dogs, your child might suffer severed fingers or tendon damage if a dog bites and then refuses to let go.
During a dog attack, the dog may knock your child to the ground and continue to bite, causing wounds to his or her torso. This is more likely to happen with larger, more aggressive dogs or dogs that attack out of territoriality.
The severity of a dog bite may vary depending on the animal’s temperament and what kind of socialization it might have received. Teaching your child dog safety from a young age may help prevent these attacks.