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Dog bite injuries the focus of National Dog Bite Prevention Week

The third full week of May is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. In some places, it is known as National Dog Bite Awareness Week. Regardless of what your area calls it, the week is an important effort to remind people that dogs do bite, even if the owner thinks the dog is nice.

For postal workers, dogs seem to pose a unique challenge. In 2013, postal workers in Wisconsin reported 106 dog bites. That is only a small percentage of the 5,581 dog bites reported by mail carriers last year.

Postal workers, however, aren't the only people who have to worry about being bitten. Nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 885,000 of those victims need medical treatment.

What is really scary is when you consider that almost half of Americans bitten each year are children. The president of Prevent The Bite notes that more children are taken to the hospital for dog bite injuries than ATV, baby walker, horseback riding, skateboarding and rollerblading accidents combined.

The manager of safety for the United States Postal Service notes that all dog bites are preventable if the dog owner practices responsible pet ownership. Properly socializing dogs and securing them when necessary can both prevent dog bites from occurring.

All the preventative measures in the world won't do any good for someone who is already the victim of a dog bite. When the dog bite necessitates medical attention, those bills can mount quickly and lead to financial difficulties for the victim. Anyone who has been bitten by a dog might have the right to seek compensation for his or her damages and losses caused by the dog bite.

Source: The Washington Post, "Map: No postal worker is safe from dog bites" Niraj Chokshi, May. 16, 2014

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