If you are like most people, you may have never considered that a tragic event such as your child getting bitten by a dog could happen. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), over 4.5 million people are bitten annually by dogs, and most of the dog bite victims are children who are likely to be severely injured. Perhaps you have neighbors with dogs that you view as harmless, but it is important to keep in mind that some dogs who bite humans are not vicious. This does not mean that their bites should be viewed as minor incidents because there are serious risks that are associated with dog bites. The following are a few things that could happen to your child if they are bitten.
Your child does not necessarily have to be savagely attacked for an infection to occur after a dog bite. The germs that can cause the infection only need a means to enter the body, and broken skin is an ideal entry point. One of the worst types of infection that can occur after a dog bite is Capnocytophaga carnimorsus, which occurs when germs from a dog's saliva cause an infection. This is why prompt medical attention should be sought for all dog bites. Proper wound cleaning is an integral part of preventing infection. Prompt medical attention will also ensure that you have appropriate documentation of your child's injuries if you need to file a civil or insurance claim at a later date.
Mauling incidents will leave obvious scars. It is also possible that infection issues from a dog bite might leave some individuals scarred for life if they have to have amputations as a result of their injuries. Your child may not have severe scarring, but even the presence of a superficial scar is enough of a grave reminder that a dog bite occurred. If a child's skin is punctured in a dog biting incident, it will likely leave some type of scar.
One of the worse things that may happen if your child is ever involved in a situation involving a dog is that they may develop a sense of fear of all dogs. This is something that could linger into their adult years. It may cause emotional problems such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. Counseling may help a child to better cope with their fears, but it can take years of treatment. This is another reason why seeking medical treatment for children who are victims of these attacks is extremely important.
A personal injury lawyer, like Gartner Law Firm, is a good resource to use if your child gets bitten by a dog. They can determine if settlement offers made by the owner of the dog or their insurance company are fair and fully cover your child's injuries.