Dog safety in rural China: Children's sources of safety information and effect on knowledge, attitudes, and practices

Academic Article


  • Dog bites are a significant pediatric public health challenge in rural China. This study evaluated the effect of various sources of dog-safety information on children's knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices with dogs. A total of 1925 children (grade 3-6) between 6 and 15 years old in four rural regions across China participated between May and September 2012. Results showed that teachers and especially parents were effective information sources for children to learn about dog safety. Learning from peers and children teaching themselves were ineffective education strategies. Multi-source learning (from both parents and teachers) did not differ from single-source learning (from parents but not teachers) but did exceed learning from teachers but not parents or no learning from adults. Older age was associated with greater safety knowledge but also riskier practices with dogs. Girls generally held more safety knowledge, less risky attitudes/beliefs and safer practices than boys. Neither age nor gender interacted with information sources on outcome measures. In conclusion, parents appear to play a major role in educating children in rural China on dog safety. Future dog safety interventions might focus on changing cognition and behavior as well as delivering basic knowledge to youth through teachers and especially parents. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Shen J; Li S; Xiang H; Pang S; Xu G; Yu G; Schwebel DC
  • Start Page

  • 164
  • End Page

  • 169
  • Volume

  • 59