If a dog kills your child- it`s your fault.

vicious dog - family dogs kill children
German Shepherd
Photo Credit: Getty Images

How stupid can parents be? If your family dog weighs more than any child in your family get rid of the dog. If you want a big dog around to protect your home think about this: The chances that the victim of a fatal dog attack will be a burglar are one in 177; the odds that it will be a child are 7 out of 10.

New York Post,
26 Jan 2006,

A Long Island girl who just celebrated her 6th birthday last weekend was strangled by her playful pet pooch, who dragged the child by her scarf in a fatal tug-of-war, police said yesterday.

Kaitlyn Hassard of Manorville came home from kindergarten at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to be greeted by the family's golden retriever, Jesse. The dog playfully yanked on the scarf looped around her neck, said Detective Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk County Homicide Squad.

Her mom, Korey, ordered the 18-month-old pup be put in the back yard while she made a phone call. But, unknown to her, Kaitlyn followed Jesse out the door, Fitzpatrick said.

About 10 minutes later, Mrs. Hassard asked her 11-year-old son, Kevin, to get Kaitlyn for a trip to the post office, Fitzpatrick said. The boy found the 70-pound dog "running around the back yard." His 40-pound sister was lying on the ground. "There were indications she was dragged," said Fitzpatrick. "The dog was probably pulling on the scarf and it tightened when it was pulled."T

Even though this was not a biting incident, it certainly could have been. There are more than 5 million dog bites a year and rising. The majority of victims are children.

Emergency room stats show:

The median age of patients bitten was 15 years, with children, especially boys aged 5 to 9 years, having the highest incidence rate

The odds that a bite victim will be a child are 3.2 to 1. (CDC.)

Children seen in emergency departments were more likely than older persons to be bitten on the face, neck, and head. 77% of injuries to children under 10 years old are facial.

Severe injuries occur almost exclusively in children less than 10 years of age.

The majority of dog attacks (61%) happen at home or in a familiar place.

The vast majority of biting dogs (77%) belong to the victim's family or a friend.

When a child less than 4 years old is the victim, the family dog was the attacker half the time (47%), and the attack almost always happened in the family home (90%). More Here.

With all the fuss that we make when a parent kills a child, you would think that we would be outraged when a dog does it, yet we do not limit the size of dogs in families with children. Oddly there are ordinances prohibiting felons from owning large dogs:

sfgate - Limits on felons owning dogs get OK, Excerpt:

The Contra Costa County board of supervisors unanimously supported on Tuesday prohibiting convicted felons from owning any dog that is aggressive or weighs more than 20 pounds, making it all but certain the proposal will become law when it formally comes before the board for approval Nov. 15. The proposal would also for the first time require people with dogs deemed potentially dangerous to apply for a permit to keep their dog and to abide by certain rules. Supervisor Mark DeSaulnier said his desire to do something about dangerous dogs was galvanized by the March 29 mauling of 11-year-old JaQuan Rice Jr., as the boy walked near his home in Concord.

I would support any law limiting the size of a dog in any family with children to a size smaller than the smallest child in the family.

If you do not have a dog but you want to protect your children, teach them how to avoid being bitten:

Do not go near strange dogs.

Never bother a dog that is eating, sleeping, looking at something else, playing with another dog, playing with a toy, or taking care of puppies.

Do not move quickly or make loud noises.

Never pet a dog that is behind a fence or in a car, even if the owner tells you it is ok. Dogs are naturally protective of those spaces. Teach your child that most dog owners are unfamiliar with the risks of dog ownership and that even if they say their dog doesn't bite, it does bite, 5 million times a year.

Tell an adult about any strange dog near your house.

Always, always, always, always have an adult with you when you play with a dog.

Never tease a dog.

Let a dog smell you before you try to pet it.

Despite all of the above, if the dog is bigger than you, do not play with it, pet it, look at it.

training children to avoid vicious dogs - family dogs kill childrenIf a dog growls at you, stand still, fold your arms slowly around you, look down, say and do nothing until an adult arrives.

If attacked, lie on the ground with your hands protecting your neck and head, or kneel with your hands around your ears, try not to move around even if it starts chewing on you. Eventually if it feels you are not a threat it will go away. Lie there until an adult comes by.

Never try to outrun a dog. Can't be done.

To make it easy for children to learn all this stuff, you can get the B.A.R.K. (Be Aware, Responsible, and Kind)™ Dog Bite Prevention Program, a video and activity book of lessons, worksheets, and coloring pages proven effective in teaching elementary school-aged children how to behave safely around dogs. Go here.

### End of my article ###

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