Dogs may be man’s best friend, but that does not erase the fact that these pets are still animals. Even dogs that seem to be well-trained and friendly can suddenly attack with little to no warning. Children are especially vulnerable to dog bites, and while any type of dog can turn violent, some breeds are more likely to attack than others.

Recent research from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center determined which dogs are most likely to bite children. The study specifically focused on dog attacks that resulted in bites to children’s necks and heads. This research is particularly important for parents who want to keep their children safe, as bites on these areas of the body can cause permanent disfigurement, eye loss and other severe consequences.

Are dog bites really a problem?

Many families own dogs that are loving, loyal creatures. Owning a friendly dog can make it difficult for parents to fully grasp the dangers of a bite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that dogs bite 4.7 million people annually. Children are especially vulnerable as they make up 59% of all victims.

According to additional data from the CDC, only about 20% of dog bite victims need to seek medical treatment. The vast majority of those seriously injured victims are children between the ages of 5 and 9.

Which dogs should I watch out for?

Any breed of dog can bite, but certain breeds are more prone to doing so. Researchers looked at a number of factors, including both the frequency of bites and the severity when determining which breeds pose the most danger. The most dangerous? The data points toward pit bulls and dogs of mixed breed. These include:

  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • American Staffordshire Terriers

Dogs of mixed breed are perhaps more of a vague category than anything else, but researchers indicated that correctly identifying these dogs is particularly difficult. Since the study also concluded that German Shepherds, Jack Russell Terriers and Rottweilers are also frequent biters, it is possible that they could comprise some of the mixed breeds.

Get your child the help he or she needs

Watching your child suffer from the physical and emotional pain of a dog bite can be truly traumatizing. While you would do anything to get your child the help he or she needs, you probably understand that you are staring down mountains of bills for medical care, medications, surgery and more. Without help, you may not know how you will access the care your child needs.

In many situations, it is possible for victims to hold owners responsible for their dogs’ actions. This means that you could seek compensation from the owner of the dog who bit your child. Successfully pursuing a personal injury claim to completion can help victims and their families address the full range of physical, financial and emotional damages that often occur after dog bites. Since medical bills tend to pile up quickly, experienced attorneys may advise victims to take action as quickly as possible.