Do More Dog Bites Occur in Warmer Weather?
When you think of summer, what do you think of? Baseball games? Vacations? Hot weather? Barbeques? One thing most people don’t typically associate with summer is an increased risk of dog bites.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), over 4.5 millions people are bitten by dogs every year in the United States and the CDC reports that about 1 in 5 of those people need medical attention as a result. Dog bites can easily happen at any time of year, so what is it about summer that makes them more likely to occur? There isn’t one specific reason, but there are a few different factors that can come into play.
First of all, there’s the fact that kids are out of school for summer vacation. Once kids are out of school for the summer, they have more opportunities to spend time around dogs, whether it’s at home, at a family member’s house, at a park, or at a babysitter’s home. Anyone can potentially be the victim of a dog bite, but statistically speaking, children have a higher risk of being bitten by dogs and they’re more likely to be severely injured. Children have a higher frequency of being bitten in the face, neck, or head and boys between the ages of 5 and 9 are the most common victims of dog bites. Between the years 2000 and 2015, 56.7% of dog bite fatalities involved victims who were under the age of 16.
There’s also the fact summer is often a very social time of year. More people like to spend time in public spaces where dogs are often seen, like in parks or while walking through the neighborhood. There are also a lot of events like graduation parties, family reunions, picnics, and barbeques where people might bring their dogs. When people think of dog bites, they often imagine a scary, dangerous stray dog being the culprit. But in reality, it’s very often just the opposite. It’s estimated that about three-quarters of dogs involved in biting incidents belonged to a victim’s family or a friend. While socialization can be very beneficial for dogs, their owners still have a responsibility to keep an eye on their pets and remove them from a situation if it becomes clear that the dog is getting overwhelmed, stressed out, or fearful of a situation because those factors can make it much more likely the dog will bite or attack.
Regardless of which time of year a dog bite occurs, it’s up to owners to prevent their pets from injuring others. In the state of Michigan, dog owners are almost always liable for dog bite injuries, even if the dog doesn’t have a history of aggressive behavior. If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, be sure to contact a dog bite lawyer as soon as you’re able to. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we have lawyers who have lots of experience handling Michigan dog bite cases. Contact us today to start getting answers to any questions you might have about your case.