Dog Bites to Children in the Czech Republic - A Survey
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2006
J. Náhlík1, E. Baranyiová1, M. Tyrlík2
1University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic; 2Faculty of Arts, Institute of Psychology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

The aim of the survey was to study the circumstances of dog bites to children, and their outcomes in terms of medical help sought. Data were obtained from a questionnaire completed with children. A total of 103 bites were documented; 58 were inflicted on boys and 45 on girls. Results were evaluated using chi2 and F tests. Family dogs bit at home (57.6%), dogs belonging to friends bit outside (62.2%), and unknown dogs bit only outside (100.0%), (chi2=24.796, df=2, p<0.001). Bites by small dogs were more frequent at home (51.5%), those by medium size (73.1%) and large dogs (80.5%) outside (chi2=9.022, df=2, p<0.011). Of 101 responses, 32 bites happened at home; in 2 cases (6.3%) medical assistance was sought; 69 incidents happened outside, 21 of them (30.4%) were treated. Assistance was sought when the bite occurred outside (91.3%) rather than at home (8.7%), (chi2 =7.271, df=1, p<0.009). The age of children bitten and medically treated was 2-11 years, mean age 5.6 years (F = 11.155, df=1, p<0.001). Of 102 responses, broken skin and bleeding was in 58 cases, of which 23 were treated (39.7%). Medical help was related to the type of injury (chi2 =22.528, df=2, p<0.001). Of the bites 57 were inflicted on boys, 7 were given medical help (12.3%); among 45 girls bitten help was given to 16(35.6%) of them. Girls were treated more often (69.6%) than boys (30.4%), (chi2 =7.8, df=1, p<0.008). Children were more often treated when an adult was present at the time of incident (56.5 %). In 66.7% cases no medical help was given despite the presence of an adult at the moment of the incident (chi2 = 4.029, df=1, p<0.054). Most bites in the head area were by small dogs (boys 80.0%, girls 50.0%); (boys, chi2=4.302, df=2, p<0.122; girls chi2 =6.2, df = 2, p<0.038). Dog bites to children seem underestimated in terms of medical care given. Bites at home were rarely treated, bites with broken skin in less than a half of the incidents, and bites inflicted on boys were treated less frequently than those inflicted on girls.

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J. Náhlík
University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Brno, Jihomoravský kraj, Czech Republic

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