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Dog bite information and concerns

New Jersey residents who worry about issues with stray or aggressive dogs may be concerned about threats to personal safety and to loved ones. Statistics indicate that approximately 4.5 million individuals are bitten in the United States each year with about half of these incidents involving children. Up to 20 percent of these incidents are so severe that medical treatment is necessary, and reconstructive surgery may be needed in thousands of cases.

It is important to be aware of risk factors, but it is also important to understand that anyone can fall victim in a biting incident. Those who own dogs may be at risk simply because of the close association with the animals. With more dogs in a residence, the chance of a biting incident increases by five times. Among adults, men are more likely to experience a dog bite than women. Children are prone to dog attacks, especially in the age range of five to nine. Although some breeds receive a lot of attention for biting incidents, the truth is that any breed could be a risk.

Preventive measures are a priority for limiting the risk of dog bites. Children should be instructed about important safety practices such as not approaching unfamiliar dogs and not running from or screaming at the animals. Eye contact with a dog should be avoided as well, and an adult should supervise a child who plays with a dog. An adult bringing a dog into the home should spay or neuter the animal and should properly train it.

An individual who is dealing with the repercussions of a serious dog bite may find that legal help is important in addressing responsibility issues. If medical bills and other costs have mounted, a lawyer may be able to help with a personal injury claim.

Source: CDC, "Dog Bites", August 26, 2014

Source: CDC, "Dog Bites", August 26, 2014

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