Solicitor James McNally looks at children and dog attacks.

Unfortunately children are the most likely to suffer injury as a result of a dog bite.

According to the NHS dog bites are most likely to occur to children aged between five and ten years old, especially boys.

Many different dog welfare organisations and charities try and promote the importance of educating children about how to act around dogs and how to build their relationship with a dog. One such charity is the Blue Dog Trust ( According to the Blue Dog Trust the majority of accidents between children and dogs occur within the home and with known dogs. A child is far more likely to be bitten by a dog belonging to the family, a neighbour of friend then a stray dog as stray dogs will be wary of strangers and tend to keep their distance. have dealt with many cases involving children who have suffered severe and horrific injuries. Even a minor dog bite can cause a child upset and trauma which requires counselling and specialist treatment and in these cases it is vital that specialist legal advice is sought from dog bite No Win No Fee compensation experts.

James McNally is head of personal injury at Slee Blackwell solicitors and leads the dead bite claims team he says:

The main problem is the difficulty children have with identifying a dog’s body language. For example they could easily mistake a snarl for a smile. Because of this children should never be left alone with a dog. No matter how well you think the dog knows them or how gentle you believe the dog is. Children also need to be taught to respect the dog’s personal space. Don’t encourage the child to hug the dog for example.

It is believed that if owner’s had more knowledge of what might trigger a dog bite attack to occur then injuries could be avoided. Sudden movement especially if on the dog’s territory could be seen as a hostile act. Approaching dogs that are sleeping, eating or caring for puppies should be avoided. Dog’s can also become agitated by loud noise so someone screaming or shoulting like a child at play may cause problems. A dog could also bite if “playing”. A friendly nip from an over-excited young dog could still cause serious harm to a young child. Dogs that are ill or in pain should also be approached with caution.

If you are the parent of a young child who has been injured by a dog bite or dog attack then you shouldn’t hesitate to seek immediate legal advice on what can be done. Children benefit more tham anyone from treatment. As they are still growing and developing, physically and mentally, a traumatic event like a dog-bite can have life long consequences if not dealt with properly.

For further guidance on children and dog bites contact our experts now on 0333 888 0435 or email dog bite solicitor direct [email protected]

Children and dog attacks: Preventing dog bites