According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre in the twelve months before February 2015,  7,227 people were treated in hospital for dog bites in England. Children aged between 0-9 years were the group with the highest rate of admissions (1,159).

Keeping safe around dogs

Follow the RSPCA’s six golden rules for keeping safe around dogs:

  1. Never leave your child alone in the same room as a dog - even your own.
  2. Teach your child never to approach dogs when they:
    • are eating or having a treat
    • have a toy or something else they really like
    • are sleeping
    • are unwell, injured or tired
    • are blind or deaf
  3. Teach your child to be kind and polite to dogs. Don’t let your child climb on dogs, pull their ears or do anything you wouldn’t allow them to do to another child.
  4. Teach your child how to play nicely with your dog. For example, your child can teach your dog some really fun tricks like shake a paw, play dead, or roll-over.
  5. Supervise your child when they are with your dog - if your dog looks unhappy, let him/her go somewhere they feel safe and happy.
  6. Never allow your child to approach a dog they don’t know, for example when out in the park.

RSPCA materials, which include advice on how to interact safely with dogs and the behaviours that dogs use to tell us how they are feeling, can be downloaded from here: RSPCA dogs and children

Doggone safe and be a also advise children to act like a tree if they are worried by a dog running towards them when out and about.

  1. Stop running and stand up straight as a tree
  2. Pull in your branches, (your arms)
  3. And watch you roots grow and count in your head until the dog goes away or help comes, (head down)

If a child is knocked over by a dog, train them to roll into a ball like a hedgehog and keep hands and feet tucked in.

For more information visit the Be dog smart! by the Dogs Trust site

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