3 reasons a dog bite incident could be worse for a child

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Premises Liability

Dogs are usually friendly toward everyone, but sometimes they can turn aggressive. When they do, they can cause severe injuries or disfiguring wounds to the people they bite. People of all ages and backgrounds are vulnerable during dog bite attacks. However, children often tend to suffer the worst injuries and are among those most at risk for experiencing the aggression of a dog.

Why are dog bite incidents involving children often more severe than similar incidents where adults end up hurt?

Their smaller stature

Children are smaller than adults and are therefore more vulnerable to the brute force of an aggressive canine. A dog can more easily break the bones of a child than it could the bones of an adult. A child’s shorter height also makes them more vulnerable to injuries to the face and neck. Such injuries could prove disfiguring or even deadly if the child does not receive proper medical intervention after the incident.

Their messy habits

Children are notorious for creating messes and cutting corners when it comes to cleanliness. That can be a real concern after a dog bite incident. Anyone bitten by a dog is at risk of infection. Canine teeth are tapered and leave deep puncture wounds that are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria. Children may be at worse risk of infections developing because they may struggle with properly cleaning their wounds and might unintentionally introduce secondary pathogens to their injuries.

Their tendency to generalize their experiences

Adults with decades of life experience know that every situation is different. Most adults bitten by dogs recognize that not all dogs are that aggressive or dangerous. Children, on the other hand, are more likely to generalize a single negative experience. They may become afraid of dogs or averse to locations like the one in which they experience the attack. A child bitten by a dog may require a major investment in therapy to help them overcome the fears and trauma they develop because of a single incident with an aggressive dog.

Parents caring for a child recently attacked by someone else’s pet sometimes need to advocate on behalf of their child beyond seeking medical attention. Seeking compensation can potentially help adults cover the costs generated by a child’s physical and emotional injuries after a dog bite incident.



FindLaw Network
Nathan A. Cobb