Another Queensland child has been mauled by a dog as authorities warn that attacks are on the rise.
Four-year-old Ace Elson from the Sunshine Coast had been visiting a property in Gympie with his family over the weekend when he was attacked by a dog.
The boy remains at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, where he is being treated for a huge gash on his face, which has required stitches from his cheek to his ear.
“I think he’ll be out of the hospital within a week,” the boy’s father, Luke Elson, said.
“He’s upset. He’s questioning why the dog bit him.
“We’re worried that he’s going to be petrified of dogs.”
Queensland Ambulance Service confirmed the incident was the ninth dog attack paramedics had responded to this month, urging people to take greater care around pets.
“A lot of these injuries require significant rehabilitation in hospital and surgical intervention,” Lachlan Parker from Queensland Ambulance Service said.
“Sometimes there’s psychological impacts with these animal bites as well.”
Dejana Durdevic, a dog behaviour trainer with the RSPCA, said prevention is key, encouraging people and particularly children to ask for permission from owners before touching their pets.
“If they stay back-leave them,” she said.
She added owners can also keep an eye on their dog’s behaviour to reduce the risk of attacks.
“Watch their stress levels,” Ms Durdevic said.
“Watch their body language.”