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Westchester Medical Center Plastic Surgeon Discusses Dog Bites, Children

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, Westchester Medical Center Plastic Surgeon, gives facts on dog bites and children.
Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, Westchester Medical Center Plastic Surgeon, gives facts on dog bites and children. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Westchester Medical Center plastic surgeon Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh urges residents and families to beware of dog bites involving children. 

Children are the most common victims of dog bites in the United States, according to the national Centers Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Dog bite incidents often increase in the summer months when people are more likely to be outdoors and interacting with dogs,” said Alizadeh.

Recent studies of cases treated at level one trauma centers where the breed had been identified have shown that a very high percentage of the attacks are committed by pit bulls, rottweilers and presa canarios and their mixes.

“We have had several very serious cases recently that involved aggressive pit bulls,” said Alizadeh.

“Patients who experience bites from these often aggressive dogs may suffer multiple bite wounds including very severe soft tissue injuries to their arms, legs, face and torso. This type of trauma can include punctures, lacerations, fractures and in some extreme cases traumatic amputations. Some of the more severe animal bite cases often require extensive reconstructive surgery and skin grafts.”

Some facts on dog bites:

  • The odds that a dog bite victim will be a child are more than 3:1 according to the CDC.
  • Three quarters of dogs involved in bite incidents belong to the victim's family or a friend.
  • The majority of dog attacks happen at home or in a familiar place.
  • When a child less than 4-years-old is the victim, the family dog was the attacker half the time, and the attack almost always happened in the family home.
  • The face (lips, nose and cheeks) of children under 10-years-old are the most frequent target of a dog bite.

For more information and to learn how you can prevent or reduce your risk of dog attacks, click here.