National Dog Bite Prevention Week® takes place during the third full week of May each year, and focuses on educating people about preventing dog bites. The dates in 2016 are May 15-21.
With an estimated population of 70 million dogs living in U.S. households, millions of people – most of them children – are bitten by dogs every year. The majority of these bites, if not all, are preventable.
- Prevent The Bite reports that according to the Center for Disease Control, dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury to children ages 1-4, 9th for ages 5-9 and 10th for ages 10-14 from 2003-2012.
- The Insurance Information Institute estimates that in 2013, insurers across the country paid over $483 million in dog bite claims.
- The American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery reports that according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 26,935 reconstructive procedures were performed in 2013 to repair injuries caused by dog bites.
- The U.S. Postal Service reports that 5,581 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2013. Children, elderly, and postal carriers are the most frequent victims of dog bites.
- The American Humane Association reports that 66% of bites among children occur to the head and neck.