Spare yourself the trauma with Brenna Benjamin.

Brenna Benjamin handles Trauma Program Injury Prevention and Outreach for Emergency Services at NorthBay Healthcare. Her blog focuses on preventive safety measures and true trauma encounters.

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Brenna started writing for this blog September of 2017.

Man’s best friend can also be his worst nightmare!

May 16, 2018

Approximately 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year with small children and older adults being the most frequent of victims. As a matter of fact, nearly 50 percent of all children in the U.S., will be bitten before their 12th birthday according to Bark Busters USA.

For many of us, our dogs are just, "one of our family members." They are great play pals for the kids, loving companions and loyal to our families but did you know that most dog bites occur in the home? While many dogs are tolerable of our toddlers pulling their ears, squeezing their necks for a bear hug and patting them on the head, many of us forget, that they are still animals with animal instincts. We forget how vicious they can be if a situation poses as a threat to them, if they are hurt, scared anxious or worried.

Dogs have mannerisms just like people do. We can read each other's body language and know the type of mood someone is in and whether they want to be talked to or not. The same is true of dogs. Knowing how to read a dog's body language is helpful in avoiding bites and attacks. Teach your children that the first thing they should ALWAYS do before going up and petting someone's dog is ask the owner if it is OK or safe to pet them. Avoid rough games like tug of war, chase, or play fighting with your dog as this confuses them. Avoid contact with dogs when they are eating, chewing a bone, sick, injured or if they are chained up in their yard especially if they are strange or unfamiliar dogs.

Thinking before acting around dogs could save you from an unnecessary visit to the Emergency Room. For more information and teaching material for kids, see the resources below.

Tags: trauma, Brenna, Benjamin



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