2020-10-05 14:22

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New Review On Dog Bite Management And Prevention Announced

CWU Area Safety Rep, Jamie McGovern is heavily involved in dog bite prevention and helping to ensure Royal Mail post personnel stay safe during their door to door rounds delivery the country's mail.

He has forwarded to Unionsafety, this press release from the Merseyside Dog Safety Partnership that he works with:

Dog bites are a public health problem in England (and worldwide) with over 8,000 hospital admission being reported in 20181. Recent research has also indicated a surge in dog bites as a result of COVID-19 due to the increase time spent with dogs within their own home2.

The MDSP has recently released an information leaflet on staying safe around dogs during COVID [see press release and leaflet here: https://merseydogsafe.co.uk/help-fight-covid-19-by-staying-safe-around-dogs/ The leaflet has been available since headlined on this website's 'splash page' in April, from Unionsafety E-Library too. Click on the pic below to download a PDF version.].

To date there has been a range of research which have been conducted on the topic of dog bites. Therefore, in order to summarise current information on dog bites several members from the MDSP and the University of Liverpool (Dr Carri Westgarth, Dr Sara Owczarczak-Garstecka and Mr James Oxley) and Alder Hey (Dr Molly Jakeman) have recently conducted a review of pet dog bite management and prevention in the journal BMJ Paediatrics Open3.

The journal article is open access and can be found here: https://bmjpaedsopen.bmj.com/content/4/1/e000726

Pic: Covid-19 and Dog Safety - click to download PDF versionThe review covers areas about wound management and symptoms (history, examination, physical and psychological impacts, medical intervention and treatment) and dog bite prevention (current method of dog bite prevention approaches (education and environmental), reducing dog bite impacts in the future).

This review highlights a range of key points including:

  • Most dog bites occur within the owners’ home and more frequently occur on weekends.
  • Children <12 are more frequently bitten with younger
    children (<5) more frequently bitten on the head, face and neck.
  • Psychological impacts of dog bites are often overlooked and the emphasis is placed on physical injuries.
  • Supervision of children is required in the presence of dogs at all times.
  • A range of prevention schemes are currently available but there is often a lack of research on the effectiveness of these schemes. 
  • In order for prevention schemes to be effective, a multidisciplinary approach is required which results in behaviour change and long-term retention safety knowledge.

If you would like advice on dog bite related issues (e.g. You have been bitten by a dog or your dog has bitten someone) see the MDSP website resources here: https://merseydogsafe.co.uk/public-resource/ [available from the E-Library too]

Further guidance for parents and children about staying safe around dogs can be found here: https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/factsheets-downloads/bds%20parents%20leaflet.pdf

To keep up to date with current news about the MDSP’s work follow us on twitter @MDSPNews


1. NHS Digital (2018) Finished admission episodes and finished consultant episodes for accidents and dog bites, England, 2017-18. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/find-data-and-publications/supplementary-information/2018-supplementary-information-files/finished-admission-episodes-and-finished-consultant-episodes-for-accidents-and-dog-bites-england-2017-18

2. Dixon, C. A. and Mistry, R. D. (In Press). Dog Bites in Children Surge during Coronavirus Disease-2019: A Case for Enhanced Prevention. The Journal of Pediatrics.

3. Jakeman, M., J. A. Oxley, S. C. Owczarczak-Garstecka and C. Westgarth (2020). Pet dog bites in children: management and prevention. BMJ Paediatrics Open 4(1): e000726.

Source: MDSP / J M cGovern

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