Dog bite and injury awareness and prevention in migrant and left-behind children in China

Ying Chen, Yafei Tan, Shuzhen Yan, Liping Li
Scientific Reports 2018 October 29, 8 (1): 15959
Dog-incurred injury is a serious public health concern worldwide, especially for children, responsible for numerous infectious diseases, such as rabies. Our study aims to investigate the current status of dog-incurred injury and its prevention among special groups of children. A cross-sectional study was conducted among migrant children (MC) and non-MC, "left-behind" children (LBC) and non-LBC in two cities in southern China. A questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data and experience with dog-incurred injury, to assess knowledge of dog behaviour and rabies prevention and attitudes in risk identification and practice in risk behaviour. A total of 9,380 children aged 6-19 years old participated in this study. The self-reported prevalence of overall lifetime dog-incurred injuries in MC was 19.4% (vs. 11.2% in non-MC, χ2  = 175.8) and LBC was 20.6% (vs. 13.5% in non-LBC, χ2  = 114.1). MC were more likely to provoke a dog before the injury happened (12.7% vs 11.0%), while LBC (13.3% vs. 10.7%) and non-MC (13.1% vs. 12.2%) did not manage their wounds (all P < 0.001). 45.6% of victims were alone when the attack happened. MC from other provinces who live in rural areas and LBC with their mother absent had the lowest levels of knowledge among the groups. Taken together, MC and LBC are at greater risk for dog-incurred injury. They had lower knowledge of and attitudes towards prevention and more high-risk behaviour. Therefore, an appropriate public health education intervention is needed for schoolchildren regarding the prevention and management of dog-incurred injury and disease.

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