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Increase in dog attacks –young children suffering most wounds

Five per cent increase in injuries caused by dogs that required hospital treatment, with young children suffering most.

Hospital admissions for injuries caused by dogs have risen 5.2% in England, with young children suffering the most wounds.

Around one in six hospital admissions for dog bite and strike injuries involved a child aged under 10, according to provisional data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre. Of those, almost half required plastic surgery, and more than a quarter led to facial surgery.

The most recent figures, for the year ending April 2012, showed a total of 6,450 admissions for dog bites or strikes, an increase of 5.2% on the previous year. Of those 1,040 were of under-10s, with nearly half (494 admissions) requiring plastic surgery, and 27% (278 admissions) resulting in oral or facial surgery.

The Hospital Episode Statistics show under-10s accounted for the highest rate of admissions by 10-year age group.

While children were more likely to undergo plastic surgery, admission rates for adults were higher for trauma and orthopaedic treatment.

There have been calls for the government to repeal and replace the existing Dangerous Dogs Act with new legislation making it compulsory for dogs to be microchiped so that dog owners can be traced more easily.

I totally agree with the call for microchipping and would also argue for compulsory insurance and tougher sentences for owners who encourage their dogs to be aggressive.

Children need to be educated of the dangers dogs can pose and how their behaviour can be seen as a threat to a dog which could cause it to react viciously.

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