Dog bites are often brushed off as minor injuries. However, dog bites can transmit diseases, like rabies, and can be prone to bacterial infections. Also, a dog bite may initially look minor, but can involve significant damage to muscle, tendons nerves and bone.

Children are the most common victims of dog bites, and dog bites are often more severe for children than they are for adults. It can be a good idea to have any dog bite examined right away by a doctor. However, this may be especially important for children.

Collect information, if time allows

If your child’s bite is deep, if you cannot stop the bleeding or if the bite was to the face or neck, you may need to seek emergency care. If medical care is less urgent, it may be helpful to try to contact the dog’s owner, so you can supply your child’s doctor with more information.

If possible, collect information about the situation, including:

  • The owner’s name and contact information
  • The dog’s vaccination history
  • The dog’s regular veterinarian
  • The names and contact information for any witnesses

Consider legal action

You may consider filing a report with your local animal control or law enforcement agency to document the incident and help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. It may also be advantageous to keep detailed records about your child’s injuries and treatment for those injuries, in case it is appropriate to seek legal action.

In Ohio, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for any injuries his or her dog causes. Through legal action, you may be able to receive compensation for your child’s medical expenses and other expenses related to your child’s injury.