Although dog bite laws vary by state, the general theme is that dog owners are liable for injuries that their animals cause. Still, it's in your best interest best to protect yourself and your children from dog attacks. This is because the monetary compensation you may receive after a dog attack does not really compensate for the pain and bother of dealing with the injury. Dog bites to children are particularly dangerous because they tend to occur on the face or neck areas. Here are a few measures you can take to reduce the likelihood and severity of such attacks:

Teach Them about Dog Safety

Tell your kids not to disturb dogs, especially when the animals are eating or sleeping. Dogs are especially aggressive at these times, and can easily bite. Also, rule out petting of strange dogs, especially without their owners' permissions. Your children will be safer if these safety tips are ingrained in their behaviors so that they don't have to think twice about disturbing dogs.

Advise Them to Inform You (or Other Adults) About Strange Dogs

It's not just enough to observe dog safety. Strange dogs may bite even without being provoked. Therefore, it's advisable to teach the kids to report sightings of strange dogs near the home. This is especially necessary if you live in a small community, such as a small apartment, where it may be possible to know all the resident dogs. They should also be wary of unaccompanied dogs, especially if they don't have tags.

Tell Them to Report All Dog Bites

Your kids should report all dog bites, even the ones that seem innocuous. As long as the bite resulted in a puncture of the skin, it presents a danger to your child's health. The primary danger concerns the germs (for example rabies virus) that the dog may introduce into the bloodstream. On top of that, just like any other wound, the site of the dog bite may be infected by external germs (for example if dirt gets into the wound).

Prompt treatment is necessary not only to safeguard your child's health but also to strengthen any subsequent lawsuit you may lodge against the dog owner. Don't forget that personal injury laws require you to take the necessary steps to mitigate damages. Getting prompt medical care is one of these steps.

If your child does suffer an attack, try to identify the dog, its owner and get prompt medical attention. After that, consult a lawyer, such as Burke Schultz Harman & Jenkinson Attorneys at Law, to help you analyze the situation and determine whether you can file a claim against the relevant parties.