Dog Safety for Kids | Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.


Any parent with small children knows how the sight of an adorable puppy or friendly-looking dog can attract kids like a magnet. Although many dogs are just fine around children, not all dogs are patient and tolerant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 4.7 million people are attacked by dogs each year, with children under age 14 accounting for more than half of these injuries.

Teaching Your Kids Dog Safety

If you are the parent of a young child, it’s important to teach your son or daughter how to interact with dogs and what to do when confronted by a strange dog. Parents can start by teaching their kids the basic rules for interacting with dogs:

  • Treat dogs respectfully (don’t pull their hair or tails)
  • Don’t interfere with a dog that is eating or sleeping
  • Ask the owner’s permission before approaching or petting any dog
  • Never assume that a dog is friendly

It’s also important to instruct your child in the proper way to approach a dog with whom they have never interacted. Many children see a cute dog and immediately want to hug it and play with it. This behavior can frighten the dog, causing it to panic and defend itself by biting or lashing out. Instead, kids should slowly extend a fist with their fingers closed. This allows the dog to sniff the child’s hand while protecting the child’s fingers.

Watch for the Warning Signs of an Unsafe Dog

With dogs, it’s important to pay attention to body language. Parents can help their kids learn to recognize the signs of a dog that is agitated, anxious, or dangerous. Here are a few signs to watch for:

  • A dog that tucks its tail
  • Dogs that flatten their ears
  • Dogs exposing their teeth and/or growling
  • Dogs that become rigid or tense in their bodies or faces

Most importantly, parents should never leave a child unattended with a dog, especially an unfamiliar dog.

Boston and Brockton Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, our lawyers can help you obtain justice for your injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. offer experienced, compassionate legal counsel to individuals and families throughout Massachusetts. Call us today at (617) 742-1170 to speak to a personal injury attorney about your case.

This website has been prepared by Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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