Was Your Child Attacked By a Dog? They May Be Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

According to the American Humane Society, of the approximately 4.7 million dog bites that occur in the United States each year, 50 percent of them involve children under 12 years old. Additionally, 82 percent of dog bites treated in the emergency room involved children under 15 years of age. Why are children so susceptible to these attacks? Many times, kids, especially younger ones, simply do not know how to act around dogs and how to read their body language for warning signs. Because of this, many children end up with serious dog bites and painful physical injuries. However, it is the mental injuries that many people fail to think about. These are the injuries that can stick around long after the cuts have healed and bruises have disappeared. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is frequently linked to individuals in the military and people who have survived extremely traumatizing ordeals. We don't often think about a child having PTSD after a dog attack, but it is more common than you would think. Children don't always know how to communicate their feelings appropriately and may not know how to explain their confusion and sadness. There are a few common symptoms of PTSD that you can look out for in the weeks and months following your child's dog attack:

  • Excessive anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Decreased school performance
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Reduced creativity
  • Withdrawal
  • Altered appetite
  • Depression
  • Physical complaints
  • Pronounced startled responses
  • Behavior problems

Sometimes these problems may not be outwardly apparent on a regular basis, but they could pop up after your child sees or interacts with a dog. Pay close attention to their moods and reactions. 

If you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog, you may be able to seek compensation for your physical or mental injuries. Call Austin dog bite attorney Earl Straight for a free consultation at 512-454-1331.