Trauma| Volume 55, ISSUE 7, P1228-1233, July 2020

Hospitalizations for pediatric dog bite injuries in the United States



      Dog bites are a common cause of pediatric trauma requiring hospital admission. We aim to describe pediatric bite victims, associated injuries and interventions.


      Children (≤18 years old) were identified with an ICD-9 diagnosis of dog bite in the Kids' Inpatient Database for the years 2006, 2009 and 2012. National estimates were obtained using case weighting. Multivariable logistic regression was performed.


      We identified 6323 admissions for a dog bite with mean age of 6.63 years. Patients were predominately male (56.9%), non-Hispanic white (61.9%), resided in the South (35.1%), and in an urban environment (59.9%). Almost one third underwent a surgical procedure. Open wounds of the head, neck and trunk were the most common injury and decreased in prevalence with increasing age. Open wounds of the extremities were the second most common and the prevalence increased with increasing age. Children aged 1–4 and 5–10 years were both more than three times more likely to be admitted than those more than age 11.


      Dog bite injuries are common for pediatric patients. Children less than age 11 are at greatest risk, particularly in the summer. Dog safety training should be focused on elementary and middle school children close to the start of summer vacation.

      Level of evidence


      Key words

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