LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The Lincoln-Lancaster Health Department says the number of reported dog bites is up this year. They have also provided tips to help prevent them.
They say there have been a total of 233 reported dog bites this year and that there were 398 total in 2018. Animal Control Manager Steve Beal says children ages ten and under represent the largest group of victims.
They have provided the following guidelines to help prevent bites:
- Never leave a small child and a dog alone together, even if it is the family dog, a dog that is known to you, or a dog that you have been assured is well behaved.
- Do not play or allow your child to play aggressive games with a dog, such as tug-of-war or wrestling.
- Teach your child to ask a dog owner for permission before petting any dog.
- Let a dog sniff you or your child before petting the dog, and stay away from the face or tail. Pet the dog gently, and avoid eye contact, particularly at first.
- Never bother a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies. Dogs in these situations are more likely to respond aggressively, even with a person who is familiar to them.
- Teach your child to move calmly and slowly around dogs.
- Teach your child how to act if a dog is growling, barking or behaving in a threatening manner. Children should remain calm, avoid eye contact with the dog and back away slowly until the dog loses interests and leaves.
- If you or your child is knocked over by a dog, curl up in a ball and protect the eyes and face with arms and fists.