As with any large dog there is always a risk of a nasty bite, and if they wanted to do some damage they could. But as long as the Akita was raised lovingly and introduced to many people when it was young there should be no problems. Our Akita was very sweet but protective of us (kids) and a lot less trouble than our Boxer, Pit bull, Rottweiler, or Pomeranian for that matter.
Don't put your Akita in the back yard and never work with him. Socialize him, socialize him I can not stress enough. My large white akita loves people and it took socializing him even when I didn't feel like it. If you want an akita take time with them and work work work with them.
The chances are small if they have socialized with kids form a young age however if the kid is teasing it or hurting it the chances will incrase. They are not "evil helll hounds" but are protective of their pack (Their owner and family). My Akita has never bit a human and only bites other dogs when the other dog has bitten him first
It is always difficult to answer this question - "for no reason" to a human, to a dog may be a very good reason (a kid staring into the eyes to a dogs is a challenge and a sign of disrespect). Akitas are usually very good with children in the home, provided they are raised with them. As with all dogs, an Akita should not be left unsupervised with a small child, regardless. However, Akitas are very protective, and a friend of the child would have to be formally introduced to the Akita, and the dog should not be left alone. If the dog perceives the non-family member as challenging him or hurting his "kid", there could be a problem. My one Akita loves kids. He was raised with my nephew and when we moved he was a frequent guest outside the playground. The kids could climb on him and pull his ears and tail and he loved it. We added to our "family" with another Akita who was older and not as trustworthy, so there are no more trips to the playground. that being said - I would trust both of my dogs if I had a child, since they are both trained and I would slowly intriduce them and NEVER leave the one I don't know the history of, alone with a child. Basically, if you take all common sense precautions - an Akita will tolerate children and if properly exposed and supervised, an Akita will learn how to behave around children.
Our Akita is prefect with kids and always has been. Its people like this who give Akitas a bad name -non-owners that is. Akitas guarded there family children in Japan while their Mother worked in the field. Check out the new Jap Akita film coming soon Hachiko the story of a loyal dog with Richard Gere as the main star. This should give Akitas the name they deserve.
We have an 18 month old Akita, and he's always been good with our 5 Children, however the past 2 months or so he has turned quite aggresive towards them, particularly our 6 year old daughter who he has always been closest too. Our children have the greatest respect for the dog and have never been left alone with him so we know nothing has happened on their part to make him this way. We have had him checked at the vets and there dont seem to be any problems physically, so at the moment are keeping a very close eye on things, as when he turns on them it has always been for no reson and totally ot of the blue. So I have to say, as with all dogs, never say never. I love our dog to pieces, as we all do, and he has been brought up in the 'correct' way, and its still happeneing so justbe careful.
As a rule of thumb, no dog attacks for no reason. The humans in question just may not figure out what was in the dog's mind at the time. My akita is very dependable with children and actually really enjoys their attention. We don't have any young kids in our family right now, so we actively looked for kids everywhere as he was growing and that has paid off. Akitas are conservative: they don't like what they're not used to, so, if they don't know how children behave, they may bite. They also don't like to be teased or pushed outside of their comfort zone. Again, if that happens they may bite in the same way they would nip a puppy to discipline. Also they may develop a thyroid condition which affects temprament.