Health

Children face highest biting risk from Pit Bulls


New York, May 26 (IANS): If you have kids at home, it is wiser to be careful with the pets. Researchers have found that Pit Bulls and mixed breed dogs have the highest risk of biting and cause the most damage per bite.

Parents should also avoid dogs with wide and short heads, weighing 30-45 kg, suggested the study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology.

"The purpose of this study was to evaluate dog bites in children, and we specifically looked at how breed relates to bite frequency and bite severity," said study lead author Garth Essig from Ohio State University in the US.

"Because mixed breed dogs account for a significant portion of bites, and we often didn't know what type of dog was involved in these incidents. We looked at additional factors that may help predict bite tendency when breed is unknown, like weight and head shape," Essig said.

To assess bite severity, researchers reviewed 15 years of dog-related facial trauma cases and looked at wound size, tissue tearing, bone fractures and other injuries severe enough to warrant consultation by a facial trauma and reconstructive surgeon and created a damage severity scale.

They also performed an extensive literature search from 1970 to the present for dog bite papers that reported breed to determine relative risk of biting from a certain breed. This was combined with hospital data to determine relative risk of biting and average tissue damage of bite.

"Young children are especially vulnerable to dog bites because they may not notice subtle signs that a dog may bite," said Charles Elmaraghy, Associate Professor at the varsity.

The circumstances that cause a dog to bite vary and may be influenced by breed behaviour tendencies and the behaviour of the victim, parents and dog owner, said the study

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