Child safety campaign aims to help reduce dog attacks

YOUNG children are to be taught how to stay safe around dogs as part of new campaign being launched next year to reduce the number of dog attacks.

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YOUNG children are to be taught how to stay safe around dogs as part of new campaign being launched next year to reduce the number of dog attacks.

Every Year 1 student in the Island will have the opportunity to learn to recognise when a canine is likely to become aggressive and the best way to respond as part of the 'Speak Dog and Stay Safe' initiative.

Although not directly linked, it follows an attack in April by a Husky-Alsatian cross on a six-year-old girl who was playing outside a friend's home.

Figures released just months before the attack by the Child Accident Prevention Trust, the organisation behind the campaign, revealed that the Accident and Emergency department treated 49 children for dog bites between January 2009 and June 2011.

Comments for: "Child safety campaign aims to help reduce dog attacks"

leanne

Well, I am certain that there will have been more children in from neglect or abuse from parents!!! use the money to sort those horrible people out. Responsible parents will teach their children the correct way to deal with animals...horrible parents just do not care anyway.

Sophie

Surly parents should take responsibility for this? Do not allow children to approach dogs they do not know, stand still when a dog chases etc these are basic life skills!! It infuriates me… If parents are unable to teach their children this then what hope has the next generation got!!!

it's a dog's life

I assume you meant "surely" parents, not "surly" ones.

Disheartened

Not if the parent's themselves are clueless about dogs - might be that as kids they had bad experiences themselves or their family may have just never been a dog loving family. Think this is a great opportunity to teach the next generation these skills and hopefully in future they will then pass it on to their kids and so on....

it's a dog's life

I can't help feeling it's the dog owners who should be be trained, not the children.

mallouin

I consider myself a 'dog lover' and have owned dogs in the past and can only agree with 'blame the owners'.I recently approached a small terrier type(in the correct way) leashed outside a locale,dog wagging tail,gentle panting and got bitten,drawing blood,no indication whatsoever,all I felt was annoyance at the owner and worry incase a child had been there instead of me.I should have confronted the owner but walked away in some small shock before thinking.It's owners not dogs that are the problem.

BamBam

Why just year 1? All primary school kids would benefit...

jerseythepartiesover

49 dog bites reported in A&E in 2 and half years seems probably about right but who knows actually who was to blame in any of these incidents as the dog's cannot speak for themselves. I feel sure if they could we would realise that man was to blame in almost all cases.

What ?

Any owner of a dog should be held solely accountable for their animal attacking anything. If a dog is trained in the right way, it will not leave your side, let alone attack a child.

Some breed's of dog are more prone to hunting, defending or being more aggressive, but again, if trained, all dog's and their behaviour's are the owner's responsibility, period.

There is no amount of training that will ever allow a child to defend itself from an animal intent on doing them harm. But, training a dog properly will.

Elizabeth

I think this is a great ideas, however parents should be involved too.

I have two small dogs who are very child friendly but so often on walks young children will run up to them and cuddle them round the neck like teddy bears. The parents just look on and smile like it is so cute, A number of times I have said to the child that these dogs are fine but you should always ask first incase the doggie isn't friendly, only to suffer a filthy look from the parent! Surely this is just common sense!!

Katie

I just wonder out of this 49 who went to A&E after a dog bite, exactly how many were from a bite from the family pet ?

Charlie

This is a difficult situation as I believe both parents should take responsibility for the child and owners for the dog. However, my 3 year old was one of those 49 children bitten by a dog. He was a family pet, one we saw on a regular basis, he was used to children being around, he had never nipped at anyone before but on that day he did sink his teeth into her face as she went to pet him under the table - that was his domain - so whose fault was it? It happened in a split second and yet is the most horrific thing to happen to us as a family. Luckily the scarring is minimal and the staff at the hospital were brilliant although the comments we had from the public during the following 10 days as her face recovered from the bruising were very mixed. She still believes big dogs want to eat her but all little ones are cute.

I do NOT believe in that split second there is any time for a child to "Speak Dog" and understand what is coming. I still want her to feel able to stroke a dog, on a lead, feel comfortable around them and not develop a fear of them, whereas I grow ever more suspicious of dogs and hold her hand ever so tightly when we pass them, now I fully understand what they are capable of. Personally I always regarded myself as a 'dog' person - times have changed.

All I ask is everyone is aware how a dog can react around small children, including babies. Never leave them alone with your dog, even if it is a long trusted member of the family. Children have the ability to surprise with a scream or dance or a jump at any given moment and sometimes that is enough!

Steve

I think the above is a great idea. It may help children whos parents may be afraid of dogs as previously said. Just to note, I am sick to the teeth of the reference to the husky Alsatian episode whenever there is an article about dogs in the media. It even states above that it is not linked to this article. Lazy sensationalist journalism but I don't expect much of the JEP these days. Of the 49 Attacks we always pick this breed. What happenened was a terrible episode no doubt and I am no defending the dog. For my part. Husky's make fantastic pets In the hands of breed knowledgeable responsible owners and are great with children, but then that goes for all breeds I guess. I welcome this proactive approach and whoever thought of it should be commended.