According to the Ocean Times Herald, New York ranks ninth in the U.S. for dog bites. August 2018 marked one of the worst months for dog bites in New York and the rest of the country. While most dogs never bite, millions of Americans get bitten every year. In New York, 107 claims passed through State Farm in 2018 with payouts averaging $74,000 per claim.
After getting bitten by a dog, one of the first things people do is panic. Dog bites are not only painful, but sometimes bloody. There may also be the risk of rabes and wound infections. It is no wonder that panicking is one of the first reactions people resort to. It may be even more terrifying when the victim is a child. WebMD notes that of the 4.7 million Americans who get bitten each year, half of these are children between the ages of 5 and 7.
While it is possible to provide first aid treatment at home after a dog bite, it is best to see a doctor. This is especially the case if the dog is unfamiliar, the bleeding does not stop immediately, there are signs of infection and the bite is deep. Dog bites may need to be treated with antibiotics, which a doctor might prescribe. If the victim is unable to see a doctor immediately, or believe they need to find some relief at home first, WebMD recommends the following:
- Placing a clean towel over the injury may help with the bleeding.
- Use soap and water to wash the affected area.
- Use a sterile bandage to cover the wound.
- Keep the injured area elevated.
At the doctor’s office, patients and their guardians should prepare to answer some questions. These may involve who the owner of the dog is and whether or not the attack was due to provocation. The doctor may also need to know about preexisting conditions, such as immune system disorders, liver disease or diabetes.
Dogs are the most common household pets in America. The popularity of dogs in homes increases the likelihood of bite incidents through the power of sheer numbers combined with probability. The best way to prevent attacks is to stay away from unknown animals and never leave children alone with them. Finally, people need to be mindful of the temperament of dogs they adopt.