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Can Better Education Prevent Dogs Attacking Children?

25 April 2014

ANALYSIS - The Kennel Club has called for greater awareness about child safety around dogs, after figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show 17 per cent of incidents involving dogs happen to children under 10 years old, writes Gemma Hyland.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has announced figures that show under 10's accounting for the highest rate of admissions per age group for strikes and bites from dogs over the past 12 months.

The Kennel Club is urging parents and teachers to communicate with children about safety around dogs with help from the Kennel Club's Safe And Sound scheme.

The HSCIC figures also show that 24 per cent of incidents involving dogs involve people between the ages of 20 and 39, the age groups most likely to have young children, indicating that parents themselves may not know the safest and most responsible ways to interact with dogs.

HSCIC has revealed that of the 6,740 admissions to hospital for dog strike and bite injuries, 1,160 involved a child under the age of 10.

The Kennel Club believes that with better communication with children about appropriate behaviour around dogs, as well as parents themselves knowing how to best interact with dogs, canine-related hospital admission figures could be dramatically reduced.

Dog owners should also ensure that their pets are as well trained and socialised as possible, and have met and interacted with a range of people of different ages as a puppy to help minimise the chance of any incidents occurring.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: "These incidents, whether it be a child falling over the family pet and injuring themselves, or a child being nipped by an unfamiliar dog, are alarming but largely avoidable with the right precautions.

"Dogs are a huge part of our lives in Britain and children are naturally curious and excited to be around them, so it is crucial that they are taught from an early age how best to interact with them.

"As we head towards summer, more and more dog owners will be out walking their pets for longer, so now is the perfect opportunity to sit down with your child and speak to them about dog safety."

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Gemma Hyland, Editor

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