The Kennel Club warns of safety around dogs after new statistics reveal young children under 10 are most likely to be hurt by dog bites and strikes, with 16 per cent of all hospital admissions coming from this age group.

New statistics show young children under 10 are most likely to be hurt by dog bites and strikes, with 16 per cent of all hospital admissions coming from this age group.

The Kennel Club has urged people to be more safe around dogs after new statistics have revealed children under 10 to be most likely to suffer from dog bites and strikesThe Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) released the data last week and the Kennel Club (KC) is now urging people to sit up and take more notice of its Safe and Sound scheme.

Safe and Sound was designed to educate children about correct behaviour around dogs and, as well as notes and literature, there is also an online educational game to help drive the message home.

Elaine Quickfall is a home tutor with Gateshead Behaviour Support Service. She said: “We take it for granted that our children should know how to behave [around dogs], but if they have no prior knowledge then why would they?

“Games like this are great as they provide a visual example of the consequences of choosing different actions.”

The HSCIC statistics showed that of a total 6,450 dog bite and strike admissions between April 2011 and April 2012, 1,040 involved a child under the age of 10 – a figure the KC believes could be reduced dramatically with better education.

KC secretary Caroline Kisko said: “Dogs are a big part of our lives and it is likely that every child will come across a dog at some point this year, at home, at a friend’s or just on the street.

“During the summer holidays is a great time to sit down with your child and speak to him or her about dog safety. Using the tips and game available through Kennel Club’s Safe and Sound scheme is a great way to clearly illustrate to your children the best way for them to behave around dogs.”

Visit the Safe and Sound scheme’s website for more information.

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