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How often do dogs bite? The numbers are startling

With more than 52 million dogs in the United States, it's naïve to think that dog bites are a rare occurrence. They happen throughout California and the nation every day. Sometimes they might just be painless little love nips.

But certainly not all of them. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relayed by the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, approximately 800,000 dog bites annually require a trip to the doctor. Almost half of them – 334,000, in fact – need to be treated in a hospital.

When you analyze the numbers even further, you recognize just how closely you must pay attention to the potential for dog bites.

Consider these facts from the CDC. Each day, there are an average of 2,400 dog attacks. That translates to 100 each hour. Or one every 36 seconds.

Of the dog bite victims, more than 50 percent are children, with 26 percent of them needing to visit the doctor or emergency room. By contrast, 12 percent of adults to need to seek treatment.

Dog bites represent a greater health risk for kids than the dreaded childhood illnesses of mumps, measles and whooping cough. Combined. More children are injured by dog bites than by playground mishaps or accidents on bikes, ATVs, mopeds or skateboards.

The CDC reports that treating dog bites costs more than $1 billion annually. That means that if either you or your child is injured by a dog bite, your family could be facing substantial medical bills, and the owner of that pooch could be liable for paying your costs. If you have any questions, a legal professional with experience in cases concerning animal attacks could provide you with the answers you need.

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