Preventing dog bites in wake of recent attack on toddler

A toddler continues to recover after the family dog attacked him in Ormond Beach Tuesday.

2-year-old Miles Heafner underwent plastic surgery earlier this week.  Family friends tell Fox 35 in Orlando the toddler will likely have a scar down the side of his face for the rest of his life.

The family dog, Roscoe, attacked him Tuesday at his home. They say Roscoe bit Miles once before last weekend.

The parents took him to the hospital and according to family friends, the hospital staff said animal control would contact them. But they never did.

This most recent attack raises questions for both parents and dog owners. How can these attacks be prevented? 

About 4.7 million Americans suffer dog bites each year, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention more than half of them are children.

Two-thirds of dog bites among kids happen to the head and neck, often requiring plastic surgery.

Educating children and adults about how to handle, train and treat dogs can prevent attacks.

If you're thinking about getting a family dog, or you're around pets, here are some tips:

  1. Talk to a vet about a good breed the best suits your family.
  2. Socialize your new dog, training with commands, get it vaccinated against rabies and other diseases.
  3. Have it neutered which will make it less likely to bite.
  4. Never leave a baby or small child alone with the dog
  5. Tell children not to bother a dog if it's sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
  6. Teach your children to ask a dog owner for permission to pet a dog, even if it's looks friendly.
  7. If you're threatened by a dog, remain calm and avoid eye contact. Don't run!
  8. If you’re attacked, rinse the bite with soapy water. Call your doctor, because a bite could require antibiotics or a tetanus shot.