The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sponsoring its annual National Dog Bite Prevention Week May 17 – 23. In light of the many diseases that the CDC has to track and prevent, one might think that this would be a trivial topic. However, there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites reported in the U.S. each year. Of those 4.5 million, 885,000 people have to be treated for the bite and in 2006, over 31,000 had some type of reconstructive surgery.
The CDC reports that children between the ages of 5 and 9 are at the highest risk for dog bites and have a higher probably of requiring medical attention. Dog bite victims in the next highest risk category would be adult males, and followed by people with dogs in their homes.
The American Veterinary Association has an excellent brochure on the prevention of dog bites. It highlights how to select a family pet, and has tips on training your dog and what to do to avoid being bitten by a dog.