There are currently some 4.7 million dog bites per year in the United States, most sustained by children. The majority of problems occur when dogs are not properly controlled when they are off-leash and unsupervised. Under these circumstances, aggressive events are more likely to occur, though whether they actually do, or not, depends on the temperament of the dog and, of course, the behavior of the child. Not all dogs will bite children even under the most trying of circumstances. Some are gentle – but not all.
Young children should be taught to pet dogs appropriately but only under close supervision. The dog should not be allowed on high places, like beds or furniture. Being up high increases the dog's confidence and the likelihood of aggression toward the child if the dog is disturbed. Dog toys should be put away and presented only during safe times when the child is not around to steal them. Children's toys should be labeled with a dab of clean-smelling antiseptic that will serve to deter the dog's interest in them. The dog's bed or crate should be in a quiet area that is remote from the toddler's warpath.
For more information, please read How to Keep Children Bite Free.