Have you ever wondered why it seems more dog bites happen during the summer months? Anecdotal evidence exists that dogs are more likely to attack people during the hot summer. But is it true?
According to some researchers, the answer is “yes.” For example, researchers in Beijing – which has the largest population of stray dogs in the world – looked at hospital data for dog bites to see if they went up in the hot summer months. The answer was unambiguous. Plotting the relationship between temperature and hospital admissions for dog bites revealed dogs do seem to be more aggressive in the summer heat.
Dr. Stanley Coren writes in Psychology Today: “[W]hen the weather starts to reach the higher levels of discomfort perhaps the best thing to do is to toss [a] dog a few ice cubes to chew on and then just leave him alone, keeping kids or strangers away from him until the evening, when things will naturally cool down a bit and canine tempers are less likely to flare.”
So, if dog bites occur more frequently in the summer months, what can you do to keep yourself and your family safe?
What to Do to Protect Your Child from an Aggressive Dog
These are the steps dog owners recommend if an aggressive dog threatens your child:
- Tell the child to not move. If the child tries to flee, they are acting like prey and the dog may respond.
- Move slowly toward the child, speaking in a calm and measured voice. Pick the child up slowly
- Do not do anything the dog may view as threatening. Do not look the dog in the eye and keep your hands up so the dog cannot bite them.
- Fighting is a last resort. It is best to just leave the area.
If the dog bites you or your child, be sure to seek medical attention right away. Because a dog’s saliva can carry harmful bacteria that could cause an infection, it is vital to make sure that the wound is treated and properly dressed.
Place a clean towel over the bite to stop the bleeding and keep the injured area elevated if possible. Clean the wound with soap and water and apply a sterile bandage. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible to ensure that the wound is adequately cared for.
Dog Bite Laws in Florida
Florida statute FLSA 767.04 says that an owner is liable for their pet biting a person if the victim is in a public place or lawfully on private property. If the victim is trespassing, the Florida dog bite law does not apply. Also, the state’s statute does not cover other injuries inflicted by a dog, only bites. Other areas of law deal with injuries caused by attacks not involving bites.
If you or someone you love has been bitten by an aggressive dog, you could be owed compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with the attack. Along with these economic damages, you could also be able to recover non-economic damages like pain, suffering, post-traumatic stress, scarring, and others.
How Can Rosen & Ohr Law Help Me?
The Florida personal injury attorneys of Rosen and Ohr know how violent and traumatic a dog attack can be. We will seek to hold the dog’s owner accountable for the attack, and pursue the financial compensation you deserve.
Call us today for a free consultation.