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National Dog Bite Prevention Week - Prevention is the Best Cure for Dog Bites
Date:5/13/2009

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Dr. Cinnamon Dixon, a pediatrician specializing in pediatric emergency medicine, sees the life changing fear and trauma daily.

"There are over three times as many dog bites as traumatic brain injuries each year. Despite these statistics, a major deficiency in dog bite prevention education and research exists," Dr. Dixon says.

Someone who knows just how traumatic dog bites can be is 17-year-old Kelly Voigt. Kelly was severely injured 10 years ago when a neighbor's dog attacked her. She received more than 100 stitches in her face and throat and was treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Unfortunately, Kelly's injuries are not unusual.

"Children are frequently bitten on the face, which can result in severe lacerations, infection or scarring," said ASPS President John Canady, MD. "Plastic surgeons, who have the training to preserve and rearrange skin and tissue, performed more than 16,000 reconstructive surgeries after dog bites last year. Following these dog bite prevention tips and educating the public will help prevent attacks."

One year after her injuries Kelly began teaching other children how to stay safe around dogs. She developed programs for schools and founded the nonprofit organization, Prevent the Bite.

"Being attacked by a dog wasn't a fun experience, but it allowed me to discover a strong desire to help others," Kelly said. "It doesn't matter how old you are; if you care about others, you can change the world."

To kick off National Dog Bite Prevention Week, a press conference will be held at the Whittier Post Office, 8520 Michigan Ave., Whittier, Calif., at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 14. Representatives from each of the partnering organizations will participate. The event will include a demonstration on how to properly approach and interact with dogs, as well as a visit with a descendant of the dog that pla
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SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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