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Organisations join forces to help prevent bites to children

The RSPCA, Child Accident Prevention Trust, Dogs Trust and Defra have put together fact sheets that parents can use to keep children safe and dogs happy by understanding dog body language.

The message comes as a group of animal and child safety experts join forces to highlight how to prevent dog-biting incidents on children for Child Safety Week, which runs from 5-11 June.

Dr Samantha Gaines, Head of Companion Animals at the RSPCA, said: “1,700 children were admitted to hospital last year because of a dog biting incident – which is very worrying, but thankfully many bites are preventable and as parents and guardians, we can play an important role in protecting our children and keeping our dog happy.

“Dog body language can tell you so much about how your dog is feeling and when they want to be left alone. A small amount of research could stop countless accidents every single year.”

Maria Kyle, Intervention Development Manager at Dogs Trust, added: “Many reported incidents involving dogs and children may well have been prevented by following some simple yet effective steps. These include understanding your dog’s communication and ensuring they always have space when they need it, recognising child behaviours that dogs can often struggle to cope with, as well always closely supervising children and dogs when they are together.

“We are pleased to have teamed up with Defra, RSPCA and the Child Accident Prevention Trust to share our advice with parents and carers during this Child Safety Week.”

Information factsheets about dog body language, plus tips on how to keep children safe around dogs, can be found here.

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