Study: Ohio ranks third in dog bite claims

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Monday marks the start of National Dog Bite Prevention Week. State Farm Insurance released their numbers involving dog bites. State Farm said Ohio ranks 3rd in states with dog bite claims.

According to the National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition, children are the most likely group of people to suffer a dog bite. The organization also says 6,244 postal employees were attacked by dogs last year. The elderly are also at risk for dog bites.

The CDC says about 1 in every 5 people bitten by dogs have to be rushed to the hospital or a doctor. Children 5 to 9 years old are most likely to be bitten, with boys being bitten more often than girls.

In 2017, insurers across the country paid nearly $700 million in claims related to dog bites. The National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition said nearly 29,000 reconstructive procedures were performed in 2016 to repair injuries caused by dog bites.

The American Veterinary Medical Association offers the following advice to help families steer clear of E.R. visits:

SOCIALIZATION
For people who have a dog, socialization can help your pet feel at ease in different situations. Especially introducing your dog as a puppy to people and other animals can help. A leash in public is recommended.

AVOID RISKY SITUATIONS
Do not pet a dog if it is not with its owner, if it is sleeping or eating, or if a dog is with her puppies.

EDUCATION
Teach your children and also yourself about how to approach a dog. For example, the coalition said giving dogs space and letting them come to you before petting is best.

The Coalition added bites are not only painful for the victim; for the dog, it can be a life sentence. Join the conversation on Facebook with the hashtag: #PreventDogBites.

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