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Dog bite victims are often young children

National Dog Bite Prevention Weeks occurs in April. As such, this month is a good time to remind dog owners in Colorado to make sure that all people, particularly children, are safe around the family pet.

Particularly in a state full of animal lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, dogs are pretty common. Across the country, over 78 million domesticated dogs live with families, a total of 38 percent of all American households.

Unfortunately, since any dog is capable of attacking, the high numbers of pet ownership also mean a high number of dog bites. Specifically, statistics suggest that around 4.5 million people suffer a dog bite every year. Sadly, most dog bite victims are children.

Children are also more likely to get seriously injured or even die in a dog attack. Well over half, that is, 56.7 percent, of those who die because of dog bites were under 16 at the time of the tragedy.

Young children are also more likely to walk away from a dog bite with permanent and significant injuries than are adults who get bitten. By way of illustration, of the 350,000 people who had to go to the emergency room for treatment for a dog bite in 2017, 10,600 were toddlers under the age of 3.

Dog owners in Dillon and other parts of Colorado have an obligation to make sure that their pets do not hurt children or adults for that matter. A dog bite is, after all, a traumatic experience for people of all ages. They can leave anyone with significant medical bills and permanent injuries, including serious scarring and disfigurement. Victims of dog bites may be able to get compensation through a premises liability or related personal injury lawsuit.