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Increasing Number of Dog Bites a Concern

08 June 2015
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

UK - The latest figures from the NHS show an increase in the number of hospital admissions due to dog bites – with children being the most affected.

The new data causes great concern to Battersea Dogs Home as it is continually raising awareness in the community on how important it is that children learn to behave around dogs.

The figures show the number of dog bites and strikes have risen and accounted for 7,227 hospital admissions from March 2014 to February 2015 (up 6.5 per cent)– with 0-9 year olds being the age group most affected.

Sharon Sealey, Battersea’s Community Engagement Manager, said: “It’s very concerning that so many children are still getting bitten by dogs. Battersea believes that this alarming figure could be greatly reduced through better awareness of the body language and habits of dogs and that’s one of the reasons why we go into schools and communities to offer advice to help minimise the risk of injury.

“A lot of people and especially young children don’t really know how to behave around dogs or how to read a dog’s body language. This is why a child should never be left alone with a dog. We know the consequences of this can be serious and sometimes even fatal.”

Battersea’s Community Engagement team carries out workshops to educate children on how to behave appropriately around animals so they can stay safe in their company. Last year, we gave advice to 13,400 children and young people in London’s communities.

Battersea has also produced a film to help children understand more about safety around dogs.

Battersea has welcomed Government legislation that means that irresponsible owners can now be prosecuted for dog attacks within the home as well as outside the home. This will be where many children might be affected if they are visiting friends’ homes and meeting dogs for the first time.

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