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Pennsylvania parents beware: dog bites increase in summer

Pennsylvania parents know that summer is an exciting time for any kid. Between the break from school, family vacations and days spent running around with friends, there is a lot for kids to do over the next few months.

There is a lot for parents to do as well, especially when it comes to keeping their kids safe. For instance, did you know that, according to researchers, children are at the highest risk of being bitten by a dog during the summer? While we certainly hope no child is ever bit by a dog, it is important to be prepared and remember some basic safety tips regarding kids and dog bites.

Teach kids to stay safe around dogs

Young children especially need to learn how to be safe around dogs. They don't always understand how to be gentle and they may not understand that a dog can bite.

Explain to kids that they should not approach dogs they do not know. Teach them not to touch a dog's food, provoke them or play with them in a rough manner. Also, remind them that dogs bite when they are scared, intimidated or feeling protective.

Be on alert for signs of a dangerous dog

If a dog is indicating signs of aggression, keep it away from kids. Teach kids to be aware of these signs and to get away if a dog is growling or showing its teeth. If you can see the whites of a dog's eyes and/or its fur is standing up, stay away. If the dog's body is rigid or it is licking its lips, it may be stressed and ready to attack.

Take action if a dog bites your child

Despite all these efforts, a child can still be bit by a dog. If this happens, get medical attention immediately. Afterward, you can file a report stating where the incident occurred and what, if any, events led up to the bite. 

In cases where a dog was not provoked and the injuries are serious, the pet's owner can and should be held accountable for the damages suffered by the victim.

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