Experts offer advice on how to avoid being attacked
SUNDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) --They can be cute and cuddly, but even friendly dogs can be unpredictable, warns the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
Some 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One in five bites requires medical attention. In 2006, more than 31,000 people had to have reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten.
Children are particularly at risk. Among children, the rate of dog bite injuries is highest for those aged 5 to 9. Children are more likely than adults to receive medical attention for dog bites than adults.
"Most dogs are friendly, with no intentions to cause harm to anyone, said ACEP President Dr. Nick Jouriles. "But sometimes, they act aggressively toward strangers for a variety of reasons."
How can dog bites be prevented?
What do you do if you are bitten?
How can you prevent aggressive behavior?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on dog bite prevention.
SOURCE: American College of Emergency Physicians, news release, April 2009
All rights reserved