Infants can suffer devastating injuries or death if attacked by a dog. Learn about why dogs bite babies and the tragic injuries that can result.

Babies and Dogs: A Dangerous Combination That Can Lead to a Deadly Dog Attack


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5/1/2018
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dog attacks on infantsWhile any dog bite can be dangerous, a dog attack on an infant can be life-threatening. Babies are especially vulnerable when around dogs due to their small size, their developing systems, such as their brains and bones, and their inability to protect themselves. Unfortunately, dog attacks on infants can happen at home as well as when visiting family members and friends, making them far too likely to occur.

Why Do Dogs Bite Babies?

Babies come into the world not understanding anything about the dangers in their environment, and some of their behaviors can be interpreted as threatening by dogs. Some of the reasons that a dog—even a family dog—might attack an infant include:

  • Smell. A dog’s sense of smell is much more developed than a human’s. A baby’s strong smells may be perceived as an assault on a dog’s senses.
  • Sounds. Dogs are also more sensitive to sounds, and a baby’s high-pitched crying can agitate a dog.
  • Staring. Babies tend to stare at things and people in their environment. Staring can be perceived as a threatening behavior by a dog.
  • Unfamiliarity. If a dog has not been around babies before, he may be curious and investigate by smelling an infant or picking up the baby in his mouth—extremely dangerous for an unprotected baby.

Common Injuries Infants Suffer in a Dog Bite

Infants are more likely to suffer long-term injuries or death due to their delicate nature and small size when they are attacked by a dog. These injuries can affect them both physically and emotionally for the rest of their life. Common injuries include:

  • Brain injuries. A dog’s teeth can easily puncture a baby’s soft skull, with damage to the brain being the result. An infant’s skull also does little to protect him if his head is shaken violently or hit against the hard floor in a dog attack. This can lead to a baby suffering a concussion or traumatic brain injury, with devastating changes to his vision, hearing, cognitive abilities, and more.
  • Facial injuries. Bites to the face and facial injuries are common for both young children and infants. Babies can suffer broken jaw bones, amputation of facial parts, scars, and disfigurement that can require surgery to repair. Even with medical treatment, these injuries can result in psychological trauma and permanent disability.
  • Soft tissue injuries. Babies can be bitten on any part of their body, which can result in them suffering damage to their developing muscles, tendons, and nerves. This can lead to an immediate risk of bleeding and infection and more long-term consequences, such as permanent muscle, nerve, or soft tissue damage and scarring.

Less common but potentially more devastating consequences an infant can suffer include internal organ damage, amputation of a body party, or death.

Was your infant bitten by a dog? He may be entitled to compensation from the dog’s owners for his injuries under Washington’s dog bite laws. To learn more about how you can pursue his claim for compensation, call our office today to schedule your free consultation.



Category: Dog Bites

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