The pandemic compelled many Floridians to stay closer to home in the last year, prompting many to turn to four-legged companions for comfort. In 2020, there was an unprecedented number of people in Southwest Florida who fostered or adopted a pet, according to The News-Press. Undoubtedly, pets are a salve against isolation and anxiousness. However, there has been one unfortunate unintended side effect: A surge in Florida dog bite injuries.
In an analysis published by the Journal of Pediatrics, physicians at some children’s hospitals reported a three-fold increase in the rates of visits to pediatric emergency departments because of dog bites. Rates of dog bite injuries in the spring were more than double the summer rates, when these types of injuries are typically most common. Some cities, like Minneapolis, ordered all dogs to be leashed after noting a sharp uptick in dog bites there.
As our Fort Myers injury lawyers understand, families with kids and dogs have endured some unique challenges over the last year. Kids were staying home, common outlets like school, sports and playdates were sidelined, and working caregivers may not have had the capacity to supervise every second of child-animal interactions. This can increase the potential for dog bites. Continue reading