Protecting kids from dog bites
For many families man's best friend is the perfect addition to a happy household.
However, if Fido becomes aggressive, a sticky situation can develop.
"People, a lot of times, nonchalantly think that this isn't a problem, but it actually can be a medical emergency," says Michael Garrett, Nurse Practitioner with Mercy Medical Center.
According to the CDC, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, and they occur more frequently than expected.
Men are more likely than women to be bit by a dog, but our children are most at risk.
"Kids ages five to nine are the largest group that can get or unusually are bitten by a stray dog or even their household dog," says Garrett.
This is the case simply because, many times, children don't know how to behave around dogs.
So parents, teach kids to not approach an unfamiliar dog and ask the owner before petting it. Let the dog see and sniff you first.
If a dog aggressively approaches you, do not run from it, don't panic, and don't make loud noises.
Instead, Garrett explains what you can do to protect yourself.
"Stand sideways," says Garrett, "Because the dog does not see you as confrontational when you are standing sideways. You can put your hands up. When they can see your hands, they know there's nothing that you can do back at them in harm."
Minor dog bites or scratches are treated using soap and water and keeping them bandaged.
"If you get a violent dog or cat bite and it tears the flesh and punctures down into the skin, you should get it seen immediately," says Garrett.