You visited friends and enjoyed their company. Your children came along and played with their pet, a small Labrador. Everything went fine for days. You were impressed with how careful the dog was with your kids, and you felt like it was safe enough to leave them alone with him while you went to the kitchen.

Moments later, you realized your error as you heard screaming. One of the kids must have hurt or scared the dog, and it lashed out by biting him in the face. The dog stopped fairly quickly, since it was a pet and the threat was neutralized, but your child was still left with a serious injury.

Dog attacks like this aren't uncommon, and many children suffer as a result. While the bite itself was a straightforward attack, the problem is that there's a risk of infection and disfiguration. Even moderate scarring or disfigurement has a potential to hurt your child in his everyday life, but there are ways to handle the discrimination he'll face.

Consider surgical options for treatment first

Remember, there are options to help with disfigurement. Facial transplants help those with significant injuries. Skin grafting replaces damaged skin in areas where it's torn away from the body and not able to be replaced. Dermatologists and surgeons have techniques to help prevent scarring, too.

If skin discoloration results from the bite, consider facial tattooing. There are medical professionals who tattoo the pigment back into the skin to correct obvious scarring and discoloration.

Consider therapy for emotional scars

Children often recover quickly from physical injuries, but psychological injuries are different. Help your child by investing in a good therapist. As your child grows, this person helps support his or her changes, addresses fears and helps your child work through trauma.

After a bite, the person who owns the dog is responsible for the injuries suffered. Often, the financial needs you have are covered by homeowner's insurance or pet insurance, so you can seek compensation without feeling that you're harming your friend. Your child's health comes first, and financial needs must be met.

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