National Dog Bite Prevention Week: May 16-22, 2010

The most recent data from the New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene indicates that 3,452 New Yorkers reported being bitten by a dog in 2007 and 3,598 in 2008. Since many bites go unreported, the actual number of bites is probably higher in our city. Dog bites are more commonly reported in New York City than lead poisoning in children and reported dog bites are equal to the number of citywide HIV diagnoses for the same years. The Centers for Disease Control reports children ages 5-9 years have the highest rate of dog bite injuries. Most of these injuries occur to the head and neck region and boys are more likely to be bitten by dogs than girls.

Vigilant parents have their kids tested for lead poisoning and talk to their kids about the spread of HIV. Dog bite prevention should be added to the parenting to do list. Here are some suggestions to make this part of parenting easier:
  • Supervise all interactions between babies/small children and dogs.
  • Teach your children to avoid approaching a strange dog.
  • Have children always request permission from the dog owner before petting any dog.
  • Add a dog safety book to your home library. Two cute ones are: May I pet your dog? by Stephanie Calmenson and The Blue Dog Parent Guide and CD sponsored by the Blue Dog Trust (UK).
  • Watch a free, child-friendly dog safety video together, such as “Play Nice With Dogs” from
Following these guidelines can help keep your children and your dog safe. Join us on Saturday, June 5th at The AMC’s PAW Day 2010, a FREE pet health and wellness fair, and find out more about how to play it safe with your beloved pets. Several child appropriate activities will be available to reinforce dog safety. For additional information about this event, please contact Courtney Rabb at 212.329.8666 or or visit
For nearly a century, The Animal Medical Center has been a national leader in animal healthcare, known for its expertise, innovation and success in providing routine, specialty and emergency medical care for companion animals. Thanks in part to the enduring generosity of donors, The AMC is also known for its outstanding teaching, research and compassionate community funds. Please help us to continue these efforts.  Send your contribution to: The Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065. Visit for more information.

4 Responses to National Dog Bite Prevention Week: May 16-22, 2010

  1. […] teaching their child how to safely interact with dogs. Children attending PAW Day can practice the four steps of being safe around dogs with friendly dog volunteers who will be on-hand. If children are shy around dogs, they can still […]

  2. […] children how to safely interact with an animal before visiting a petting zoo, county fair, or school event featuring […]

  3. […] Obedience training is key to making your dog a good community member, especially in a city as densely populated with dogs and people as New York. Barking dogs, poorly housebroken dogs and dogs with separation anxiety are not welcome members of apartment building communities. Dogs that are obedience trained are less likely to suffer from separation anxiety and are less likely to be relinquished to an animal shelter, possibly because they have fewer behavior problems. Obedience trained dogs may also be less likely to bite humans. […]

  4. […] addition to being injured in animal related falls, children are also the most frequent victims of dog bite injuries. A boy, aged 5-9 years is the typical dog bite victim and children are commonly bitten in the face […]

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