Halloween brings out the little kid in everybody, which may be why it has become one of America’s favorite holidays.
Unfortunately, it’s also one of the country’s most dangerous nights of the year for people, especially children. While there are a variety of reasons this is true, one of the major sources of injuries is actually man’s best friend: your neighbor’s household dog.
What can you do to minimize the chances of a dog bite?
Every year, homeowners are cautioned to put their dogs in a separate room while they hand out treats, so that they’ve separated as far from the trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood as possible. Every year, people don’t listen – largely because they don’t believe their dogs to be vicious.
For the most part, they’re probably right. However, a dog that’s normally friendly and loving can get exceptionally wound-up by all the excitement of the holiday, get confused by the costumes and turn into an aggressive beast as it tries to protect its home and family.
With that in mind, here’s how to avoid major problems:
- Stay vigilant and avoid dogs on the street. A lot of parents think it’s charming to dress Fido up in his own Halloween costume and bring him along. It may be adorable to humans, but the dog may actually feel a bit panicked or have trouble seeing due to the costume’s shape. That can cause them to bite out of fear if a child crosses their path.
- Avoid homes where there’s a dog on the porch or one jumping at the screen door while the owner hands out candy. That’s a clear sign that the owner cannot conceive of their dog biting anybody, so they haven’t taken any precautions to protect their visitors.
- Do not approach a dog you don’t know, even to get a picture. Your kids may see a dog that’s just too cute for words out there – but don’t allow them to pose for pictures with the animal on the street. The close contact and an arm thrown over the dog’s shoulders could trigger an attack.
Despite your best precautions, accidents can still happen. If your child is victimized by a dog attack, find out more about your legal options.