A 3-month-old child was mauled to death by at least one of three dogs in a Sherman Oaks home the afternoon of May 5. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the attack was reported in the 14400 block of Benefit Street. The dogs involved in the attack, a Rottweiler, Labrador and terrier, were all family pets, officials said. It is not clear at this point how many of the family’s dogs attacked the baby. The grandmother said she was babysitting and stepped away for “a few seconds” to get the baby’s bottle. The dogs were able to sneak into the room.
Our thoughts and prayers are with this family, which is apparently reeling from the trauma of this horrific dog attack. We offer our deepest condolences to them.
Dog Attacks and Children
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), children are more likely than adults to get bitten by a dog. The injuries that children suffer from a dog bite can also be much more severe than adults. More than half of all dog bite injuries occur at home with dogs that are familiar or are family pets. The CDC also says that having a dog in the household is linked to a higher likelihood of being bitten.
As the number of dogs in the home increases so does the likelihood of being bitten. Individuals with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten than those living without dogs in the home. Because of their height, children are more vulnerable to severe, disfiguring injuries such as facial injuries as well as fatal injuries.
Protecting Children from Dogs
There are several steps you can take to protect your own children or children visiting your time from dog attacks, particularly, your own pets attacking. Before you bring a dog home, make sure the breed is right for your family and household. Socialize your new dog, train it with commands, get it vaccinated against rabies and other diseases and have it neutered, which will make the dog less likely to bite. Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog. Instruct children not to bother a dog when it is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies. Teach your children to ask a dog owner for permission to pet a dog, even if it looks friendly.
If your child has been attacked and injured by someone else’s dog, you may be able to seek compensation for your child’s medical expenses and other related costs. Contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer for more information.