Parents should supervise all interactions between children and dogs. A child should not be left alone with a dog unless that child has demonstrated competent dog handling skills and the dog respects the child. Parents can educate their children about how to behave around dogs and how to recognize a bite risk situation. If a bite occurs the child should be reassured that she/he is not at fault. The fault lies with the owner or adult handler of the dog. If a bite occurs the child should be seen by a doctor no matter how minor the injury may seem. In the case of a severe attack, trauma counseling should be sought for the child. The bite should be reported to the appropriate authorities.
1. Dogs do not like hugs and kisses. This is a major cause of facial bites to children.
2. Do not to approach dogs that are not their own, even if the dog is on leash with its handler.
3. If you, as a parent, decide that you think it is safe for your child to approach a particular dog - teach your child the ABC approach:
A. Ask your parent and the dog handler before you pet a dog
B. Be a tree if the dog is loose or too excited
C. Coochie coo on the side of the neck to pet the dog
4. Ensure that when a child visits a house with a dog, that the dog will not be unsupervised with the children.