The number of people on the Fylde coast being admitted to hospital because of dog bites is soaring, new figures reveal.
In the 12 months up to February, 50 people needed hospital treatment after being bitten by a dog.
The most common injuries from dogs were open wounds of wrists, hands, head and forearm
It comes amid warnings that residents living in the country’s most deprived areas – which include parts of Blackpool and Fleetwood – are between and two and three times more likely to be attacked by a dog.
Animal charities today branded the figures, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), “worrying”.
In Blackpool there were 28 people admitted to hospital following a dog attack in the past 12 months, compared to 22 in Fylde and Wyre.
Across the Fylde coast, the rise in cases – there were 39 the previous year – is well above the 6.5 per cent increase reported nationally.
And the HSCIC figures show the number of people seeking hospital treatment after being bitten or struck by a dog has soared by 76 per cent in the last decade.
It said that increase is mirrored by a 25 per cent hike in all hospital admissions.
The report said: “Admissions due to dog bites were generally higher in summer months and lower in winter, though there was a minor peak in December 2013.
“The most common injuries from dogs were open wounds of wrists, hands, head and forearm.”
Trevor Cooper, of canine welfare charity Dogs Trust, said the statistics were “deeply concerning”.
He said: “It is especially worrying to learn that the number of hospital admissions for dog related injuries is highest among the 0-9 age group.
“Dogs Trust remains frustrated that legislation focusing on issues around dangerous dogs and dog attacks remains ineffective at preventing these incidents happening in the first place.
“It is the responsibility of dog owners to ensure their dogs are properly trained and socialised and Dogs Trust advises that young children should never be left alone with a dog.”
Across Lancashire, 231 people went to hospital following a dog attack in the past 12 months, up from 191 the year before.
In March, police were appealing for information after an elderly man needed treatment following a dog attack on a playing field in Thornton.
The month before, a man had to have plastic surgery after being attacked by a dog outside a shop in Fleetwood.