It’s critical to know what to do if your child gets bit at a dog park because you’ll need to think fast to administer effective care while remaining calm.
Unfortunately, you can’t wrap your children in bubble wrap and protect them from everything. Accidents can and do happen every day, and how you respond can shape their ability to overcome them. Getting your family dog to the local park is a fun way to come together as a family and let your pet mingle with others.
However, if your child becomes caught in the crossfire of some dog-related roughhousing, what happens next can shape their view of animals. Here’s a helpful list of what to do if your child gets bit at a dog park.
Immediate Medical Attention
More than likely, your child will be horrified and find you right away. This is where your reaction comes into play. You will feel many emotions, from angst to anger and everything in between. But take these initial moments in stride.
Start by helping them catch their breath and assessing the location of the bite. Find a way to warp or cover the bite and calmly remove you and your child from the situation. If you struggle to control any bleeding, head to emergency care immediately.
Find the Dog’s Owner
If you don’t leave the park altogether, or your partner stays behind, consider finding the dog’s owner to make them aware of the situation. If the dog has a history of aggressive behavior, making them aware of these harmful behaviors at the park can hopefully deter them from returning in the future.
An aggressive dog at the park with children and other animals can be hazardous to everyone. Be careful not to pick a fight or blame the owner, but instead make them aware of the mishap and encourage them to investigate ways to help their pet.
Report the Incident
Should you feel the incident was due to aggressive and unruly behavior by the dog, report it to local authorities. This might also deter the dogs with bad behavior from going to the park and hold the owners responsible for the behavior.
Reporting the incident to the local health department can also help look into the vaccination records for the dog. If they are behind on their shots, you will need to communicate this to your child’s health-care provider. You might want to take the owner’s word for it, but following through on your own investigation is always best.
Obtain a Professional Opinion
Another step in what to do if your child gets bit at a dog park that many miss is obtaining a professional opinion. Your child experienced something emotionally and physically damaging, and to avoid any post-traumatic scenarios, don’t hesitate to seek out counseling. This can be any number of things, from post-traumatic counseling to legal aid.
Additionally, seeking legal aid with a personal injury dog bite attorney may assist you in affording the medical care required for your child. If the bite was severe enough or you initiate the stress counseling, holding the owner accountable can alleviate the financial burden of the accident.