Unfortunately, over the years there have been some very sad cases where children have been serious injured or killed by family dogs and it is important to remember that it is never safe to leave a dog alone with a child, however friendly or trusted the dog may be. Any dog can react badly to a baby or child. This can particularly be the case for new arrivals to the family, when a dog will need time and help adjusting.
Babies and young children are likely to be at the greatest risk. A young child may be unaware and unprepared for the potential dangers they could face. They will also be less able to protect themselves and more likely to be a size that leaves especially vulnerable parts of the their body exposed to any attack.
RSPCA – The 6 Golden Rules for keeping your child safe and your dog happy
Emergencies, injuries or advice
If a child gets injured by a dog, immediately seek medical advice and treatment for them. In any emergency, call 999 and request an ambulance.
The Police can be contacted on 101 for advice about dangerous dogs including if you are aware of a particular dog from a prohibited breed.
- The Dog Trust – guidance for owners
- NHS Choices video offering guidance for parents on how to keep young children safe around pets
- RSPCA – Advice on dogs and children
- DEFRA (Department for Environmental Food & Rural Affairs) – useful links about dangerous dogs
Remember – NEVER leave any baby or child alone with a any dog – no matter how trustworthy you think they are!