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Child Dog Bite Cases Rise During the Pandemic

Dog bites in Oceanside can result in serious and deadly injuries, and wounds can be particularly severe when children are bitten. While nobody wants to think about a family dog biting a child and causing a severe or even fatal injury, many dog bite incidents involve family pets, and the animal attacks are unexpected. According to a recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, dog bite incidents affecting children have “surged” during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in hospital visits and serious injuries while families are grappling with other health concerns and risks. We want to say more about the study and recent dog bite incidents impacting younger kids in Oceanside and throughout Southern California. 

Sheltering at Home Has Meant More Time With Family Pets

Unfortunately, although sheltering at home can have some health benefits since children and adults are at less risk of being exposed to the coronavirus, in-home injury risks rise. When families have one or more dogs in the house, the more time a child spends at home, the higher the possibility of a dog bite case. And just as families engaging in social distancing practices are trying to remain at home while experiencing significant anxiety, family pets are also experiencing higher stress levels. All of that tension in a household can be risky. According to the new study, adults and children alike are experiencing higher levels of stress due to the COVID-19 emergency, and “canine companions can be particularly susceptible to these stresses.” 

Indeed, as children are at home “24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” and parents and caregivers are undergoing substantial stress, the authors of the study report that “dogs may be experiencing ‘emotional contagion,’” which is “a state in which companion dogs mirror the emotions and the stress levels of their human caregivers.” As a result of all the tension among adults and children alike, and the emotional contagion of family dogs, “these unique circumstances can increase the likelihood of adverse interactions between children and their dogs.” And in fact, recent data has suggested as much.

More Time at Home During the Pandemic Has Resulted in More Child Dog Bites

Children’s visits to emergency departments due to dog bite injuries have increased by three times the typical rate, and incidents of child dog bite cases have remained high as the pandemic has persisted. Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are particularly susceptible, and it is important for parents and other caregivers to recognize these risks and to take steps to reduce the likelihood of a dog bite.

The authors of the recent study in The Journal of Pediatrics emphasize that parents and guardians always need to supervise children when they are with a dog, even if it is a family pet. Younger children, in particular, may not know how to behave safely around a dog and might unintentionally behave in a certain way that leads an otherwise loving animal to bite.

Contact an Oceanside Dog Bite Lawyer

If you need assistance filing a claim for a dog bite injury, one of our experienced Oceanside dog bite lawyers can help you. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about the dog bite cases we handle and how we can provide you with more information about dog bite injury compensation.

 

See Related Blog Posts:

How a New California Law Could Impact Dog Bite Cases in Encinitas

California Ranks First in Dog Bite Injury Claims

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