The CDC reports that more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year . The thing about dog bites is that many of them can be avoided, which is what the National Dog Bite Prevention Week is all about. The idea is to let people know how to stay safe around dogs, and because the majority of all dog bites happen to children, special emphasis is put on teaching them how to interact with dogs.
The CDC offers these safety tips for children:
Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
Do not run from a dog or scream.
Remain motionless (e.g., “be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., “be still like a log”).
Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.
If you have children, and want some help in teaching them how to act around dogs, see the Be a Tree Program . It’s designed to teach school age children how to stay safe around dogs. Some of the things they teach are how to read a dog’s body language, what to do/not do around dogs, and what to do if a dog lunges at them.