Dog Safety Guidelines for Your Household
Taking care of a family pet is an excellent way for children to become
more responsible and empathetic, but it’s important for parents
to be mindful of the potential risks. Even the gentlest of canines can
inadvertently cause serious injuries that require intensive care in a
children’s hospital. Establishing and enforcing some simple guidelines
can help keep everyone safe from dog-related injuries. If an accident
does occur, the
children’s emergency care team at Sunrise Children’s Hospital is available around the clock.
Obedience training is a must for dogs in households with children. Kids
can easily sustain serious injuries if overly enthusiastic dogs jump on
them and knock them over. They can sustain fall-related injuries, and
hand and wrist trauma while walking dogs that are too large for the kids
to control. A dog may suddenly take off after a squirrel, which can make
the child fall. If the leash is wrapped around the child’s hand,
the bones and soft tissues can sustain substantial damage. Obedience classes
can help prevent these injuries. It’s also essential to get your
dog spayed or neutered, and to socialize your dog properly to prevent
dog attacks that require emergency care.
doctors treat children for dog bites more frequently than adults. This can be partially attributed to children’s
behavior around canines, which may be interpreted as threatening by the
dog. Give your child frequent reminders not to approach unfamiliar dogs
without parental and owner permission. When a dog is approachable, your
child should walk slowly toward him or her before holding out the back
of the hand for the dog to sniff. Teach your child to pet very gently
and to back away if the dog looks upset.
The most impactful way to prevent dog-related injuries is to require adult
supervision at all times when young children are near dogs. A responsible
adult can remind the child how to behave near the dog, and separate the
dog from the child when needed.
The safety and well-being of our young patients are our highest priorities here at
Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas. In addition to our high-quality children’s emergency
care and non-emergent pediatrics, we offer Child Life services to help
kids feel at ease in the hospital setting. Please direct medical emergencies
to 911, but non-emergent healthcare questions may be directed to a registered
nurse at (702) 233-5437.