Even though Makenzie Adams is only 18 months old, she already has a best friend at home in Atlanta — her English bulldog, Jazz. So when Makenzie and her parents recently visited a family friend in Dallas, the little girl thought the friend’s dog would be her newest buddy. But when she offered the miniature schnauzer a snack, he bit her hand.
Makenzie’s swollen red hand the next day prompted her mom, Antoinette, to take her to a local hospital. Physicians there decided to transport her via ambulance to Children’s, where doctors diagnosed cellulitis, a skin infection caused by the bite’s bacteria. Makenzie spent five days in the hospital before she could finally head home.
“Jazz has been Makenzie’s personal guard dog since the day she was born, so I didn’t think twice when she wanted to play with the schnauzer,” says Antoinette. “Now I know that every precaution must be taken when dealing with dogs and kids. And when a dog bites, even if it seems minor, the child needs to be taken to the hospital immediately.
Tips for Parents
- Teach children to first ask a dog owner if they can pet the animal
- Teach them not to approach a dog that is eating or drinking
- Show them how to pet a dog without pulling on the tail or ears
- Leave children unsupervised around dogs
- Let them run up and surprise a dogs
- Let them be too loud around dogs, especially dogs that don’t know them
Tips for Dog Owners
- Keep your dog leashed while outside
- Don’t leave your dog alone with children
- Socialize your dog
- Introduce your dog to new situations
- Keep your dog’s immunizations up to date