When you take your child out for a walk or to the park, you may be on the lookout for dangers. You teach your child to look both ways before crossing the street and not to talk to strangers. But children also face danger from negligent owners of dogs.

Most dog owners are responsible and train their pets well. But some owners have untrained animals that may bite or attack your child. Here are a few safety tips you can teach your child to prevent an attack from an untrained dog:

  • Don’t run towards a strange dog – Some negligent pet owners will let their dogs off the leash on sidewalks or in public parks. Your child should never approach a strange dog off its leash.
  • Avoid eye contact – If a dog comes towards your child, your child should avoid eye contact and stand still until the dog leaves.
  • Ask for permission to touch a dog – Your child should ask permission from a dog’s owner before touching a dog.
  • Avoid stressed dogs – A dog showing signs of stress may growl or bark. It might also look scared. Stressed dogs may be more likely to attack.
  • Don’t try to outrun the dog – The dog can easily outrun your child. If the dog runs to your child but doesn’t attack, your child should roll up into a ball, protecting the head and neck. If the dog does attack, teach your child to try put something in front of the dog like a backpack or bicycle.

Your child is vulnerable to a dog attack. And some pet owners don’t recognize the threat their dogs pose to small children.

Training and preparing your child for how to treat dogs can help prevent an unfortunate tragedy.