Dogs can be wonderful companions. They are wonderful playmates, and petting one can actually reduce anxiety. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean all dogs are friendly.
Dogs and children don’t always mix, and when they don’t, injuries are likely. If your child is bitten by a dog, it can be difficult for your child to carry on with their life after the injury, but it is possible. Although it may take some time, there are some things you can do to help your child overcome an unpleasant interaction with a dog.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
One of the first things you should consider doing is hiring a personal injury attorney. In many cases, it isn’t the child’s fault that they ended up getting bitten. You can recover money that can be used to address some of the other things on this list, like medical bills, with legal help. Not to mention, it can make you and your child feel better to know you’re seeking justice for your child.
In addition, speaking with an attorney can help you achieve a different, more objective perspective on the situation. With experience in dog bite cases, they can tell you whether you are likely to recover funds in your case, and they can provide you with tips and resources to help your child overcome their dog bite accident.
Schedule Appropriate Doctor’s Appointments
Dog bites are fairly common. Unfortunately, many children don’t receive the treatment they need after experiencing a dog bite.
Recommended treatment is a little different depending on the severity of the bite, but no matter how minor or severe, you should schedule the appropriate doctor’s appointments. That might include going to urgent care or the emergency room right after the bite, depending on how bad it is, as well as scheduling appointments with physical therapists or reconstructive surgeons.
No matter what kind of doctors you see for your child’s wound, make sure you follow their instructions for treatment. With proper care, your child can avoid developing an infection, and they may even be able to avoid developing a scar.
See a Therapist
Getting bitten by a dog can be scary. If the bite was particularly bad, it can be downright traumatizing. It is completely normal for your child to develop feelings of anxiety.
There are many reasons to seek out therapy for your child, including overcoming the stress and anxiety that comes along with scary life experiences, like getting bitten by a dog. A therapist can help your child work through their feelings, and they can address their fears in a supportive, objective way.
Whether your child sees a therapist or not, it’s also important to provide them with warm support. That means comforting them when they need it and listening to their fears, without judgment, whenever they voice them.
Limit Exposure to Dogs
If your child was bitten by a dog, chances are, they aren’t going to be in a hurry to seek out and spend time with other dogs. You shouldn’t force your child to interact with dogs if they aren’t ready.
Limiting your child’s exposure to dogs may mean doing things like:
- Asking friends and family to put their dogs in the backyard before you come over
- Avoiding trails where owners regularly let their dog’s off-leash
- Staying away from dog parks and areas around dog parks
- Keeping your distance when walking by houses with dogs fenced in the backyard
Educate and Empower
Limiting your child’s exposure to dogs is an important way to help your child get over a dog bite right at first, but it’s not a good long-term strategy. At some point, your child will have to overcome their fear and feel comfortable around canines again. That means educating and empowering your child.
Understand what makes some people more likely to be bitten by dogs than others and share that information with your child. Come up with strategies for dealing with dangerous dogs, and empower your child to speak up and tell others to keep their dogs on leashes or to step away if they are being approached by a dog. When your child feels educated and empowered, they will be less fearful when they find themselves near dogs they feel uncomfortable around.
Getting bitten by a dog can be scary, but it shouldn’t cause long-term fear in your child. With a little knowledge and these tips, you can help your child get past the physical and mental effects of being bitten by a dog.