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Veterinarians, Pediatricians and Postal Workers Team Up to Reduce Incidence of Dog Bites

Friday, May 16, 2008 General News J E 4
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SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 15 There are very few public healthcrises that can truly be cured by public awareness and education ... but dogbites are one of them. There are 4.7 million people bitten by dogs everyyear, and this suffering, injury, disability and mortality is completelyunnecessary.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has joined with theUnited States Post Office (USPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)in sponsoring Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 18-24th, 2008, to help prevent dogbites.

"Every year approximately 800,000 Americans receive medical attention fordog bites, and half of these victims are children, so this is a very seriousproblem," says Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, AVMA president. "About a dozen dog bitevictims die every year. What's most important is that dog bites are largelypreventable. Through appropriate dog training and education of adults andchildren, these numbers could be dramatically reduced. That's why Dog BitePrevention Week is so important, because it brings to attention thispreventable medical problem."

"Children are particularly vulnerable to this type of injury because oftheir smaller size and their inexperience with animals," says Renee R.Jenkins, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP. "Adults should be sure to properlychoose and socialize pets, and teach their children how to be safe around dogs-- both those they know and those they don't know."

"The Postal Service(TM) continues its tradition of joining forces withthe AVMA to call attention to one of the nation's most commonly reportedpublic health problems: dog attacks and bites," says Patrick R. Donahoe,Deputy postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer. "From nips and bites toactual attacks, violent dog behavior continues to pose a serious threat to ouremployees. Last year, more than 3,000 Postal Service employees were victimizedby dogs. We hope that by joining forces we can greatly reduce the risk to ouremployees."

The AVMA offers tips and advice in a brochure, "What you should know aboutdog bite prevention." For more information on National Dog Bite PreventionWeek and to access the brochure online, visithttp://www.avma.org/press/publichealth/dogbite/mediakit.asp, or visit the AVMAat http://www.avma.org. For a Dog Bite Prevention Week pod cast, visit theAVMA's Media Library at: http://www.avmamedia.org/.

SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
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