Young kids particularly vulnerable to dog bites, especially during summers

March 2nd, 2009 - 5:53 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 2 (ANI): Young children are particularly vulnerable to severe dog bites in the head and neck areas, especially during summers, according to new study.

After evaluating 84 cases of dog bites in kids over an eight-year period, the researchers found that most injuries were caused by family pets (27 percent), with a high frequency of injuries occurring during the summer months.

While the reason for this is unknown, the researchers suggest that it may be because of children spending time outdoors playing with dogs in the warmer temperatures, or due to a general increase in the irritability of dogs during the warmer months.

The most common sites of bites to the head and neck were the cheeks (34 percent), lips (21 percent), and nose and ears (both 8 percent).

Sixty-four percent suffered wounds in more than one location, with the average wound size 7.15 cm. Pit bulls were the breed most commonly cited as the cause for the attack.

The researchers believe that by implementing more accurate and timely reporting of dog bites to local health authorities, medical professionals can be educated on how to identify trends and develop prevention strategies.

They suggest a system for uniform data collection to include the circumstances of the dog bite.

Also, families should be made aware of the increased likelihood of dog bite injuries during the summer months, the researchers added.

The study has been published in the March 2009 issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. (ANI)

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