Ways to help a child avoid dog bites, the ASPCA says.

The ASPCA predicts half of all children in the United States will be bitten by a dog before 12. The majority of bites will be from the family dog or the dog of a neighbor or friend.

A youngster should never stare into a dog’s eyes, tease a dog, approach a chained dog, touch an off-leash dog, run or scream if approached by a loose dog, play with a dog while it is eating or touch a dog while it is sleeping. If a loose dog comes close, children should stand very still and be very quiet. Always ask a dog’s owner for permission to pet it and let the dog sniff your closed hand before you start touching it.

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