With Halloween coming up in just a couple weeks, many parents may be preparing for taking their kids out trick-or-treating. Among the things parents may want to get ready for is the possibility of their kids encountering dogs during the trick-or-treat excursion.
Parents may have many worries when it comes to such encounters, including worries about the possibility of their children being bitten. Dog bites can be very painful and can expose kids to infections and other harms.
Halloween can carry special dog bite risks. Various aspects of the holiday, such as lots of kids being around in costumes, might put even normally well-behaved dogs on edge. Also, Halloween costumes may cause dogs to not recognize children they would normally be familiar with. Nervous and confused dogs might be more likely to act aggressively and bite.
There are steps parents can take towards protecting their kids from Halloween dog bites. One is to talk to their children about what to do if they encounter dogs when out trick-or-treating. Among the things parents may want to tell their kids on this front include:
- Not to approach dogs when out trick-or-treating, even if it is a dog they know
- To stand still, have their hands folded in front and look down at their feet if a dog approaches them (this is sometimes referred to as “be a tree”)
- If they encounter a dog when a homeowner opens a door, they should stay still until the owner puts the dog away, avoid moving towards the dog and owner and wait until the door is closed to turn around and depart
There are also steps parents can take to try to reduce their kids’ encounters with dogs during trick-or-treat trips. One is, when approaching a house, to keep an eye (and ear) out for signs that a dog may be out in the yard or loose in the house. Parents may find it best to stay away from homes where they detect signs that a run-in with a dog would be likely.
We hope this Halloween will be a safe one for all trick-or-treaters here in the Orland Park area.