The local NHS is urging parents to be aware of the dangers of dogs with children and babies, to help prevent serious injuries, or worse.
“All parents need to be aware of the risks involved when babies and children are around family pets,” says Claire Underwood, Deputy Chief Nurse at NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). “It can only take a second for something to happen, so it’s especially important not to leave children and dogs together unattended.”
Each year too many incidents of this nature result in serious injuries, and even death; more often than not, they could have been prevented.
According to the RSPCA, there are things you should know if you have a dog and a child in the same home:
- Never leave babies or children unsupervised, or in the same room alone, with a dog
- Avoid bothering dogs when eating
- Do not put your face up to the dog’s face
- When dogs are sleeping, do not disturb them
- Do not grab tails or ears
- Try to keep screaming and loud noise to a minimum.
There are lots of benefits to owning a pet for families, including encouraging children and parents to get outdoors and exercise. Research also shows there are numerous health benefits to having a pet in the home – especially dogs.
Most dogs happily welcome new additions to the family, but precautions must be taken to ensure that the introduction goes as smoothly as possible. Making sure your dog is well trained and socialised is key, while trying not to upset the dog’s routine too much.
There has been a 76% surge in dog attacks in the past few years and this is rising. This trend is based on hospital admissions alone and well over half (almost two thirds) are on children. Even with these figures, it is believed that as many as 50% of dog attacks go unreported.