Keeping Your Child Safe Around Animals

Most animals are friendly, but some can be dangerous. Many Au Pairs like pets, 97% of  available Au Pairs from Go Au Pair say they are willing to place with a Host Family with pets. Being around animals, it is very important to know how to minimize the chances of being bitten or scratched by the pets.Au Pair from S. Africa Chant

I would like to introduce today our special guest blogger Paul Taylor who will share the tips on how to keep children safe around animals.

From dogs and cats to horses and lemurs, the world is full of a wide variety of animals that your child might encounter. Petting zoos, farms, or even the neighbor’s pet can be dangerous if you do not teach your children the skills they will need to stay safe around animals. Here are a few helpful tips on what safety issues to cover with your child:

  1. Never approach an animal without permission – Even the friendliest looking dog could be a baiter. That is why it is important to let your child know that you must ask permission before you approach someone walking their pet. Even in a petting zoo it is a good idea to ask how and where the animal likes to be touched. While some animals will tolerate children well, others are more unstable. It is wise to teach your child to ask before they touch.kids cat
  2. Always wash your hands after touching an animal – In particular I am thinking of pet turtles and lizards. There are many animals that carry illnesses that humans can catch. These are not always obvious to small children. They should be taught that it is better to be safe than sorry. By washing their hands well after touching any animal, they can prevent a variety of illnesses. Children should also be taught not to let animals lick their faces as this can also spread illness.
  3. Never pull on an animal – Many small children cannot resist the urge to yank on kitty’s tail. However that may get them a swipe from her claws if she is not a very considerate cat. No animal enjoys a child pulling their tail, ears or fur. That is why you should teach your children to be gentle around animals and avoid hurting them. A hurt animal may react in violence, even if the pet has no history of it. Avoid bites and scratches by teaching your children to respect the animal and not be rough with it.kids animals
  4. Never walk too close to an animal – Even if your child respects your wishes to not approach an animal without permission they may still want to get close to it to get a better look. A dog can lunge pretty far at the end of a leash, a cat has a long range for her claws, and cows or horses can kick, stomp or nip at a child that gets too close to their space. You should teach your child to give animals plenty of room and always stay far enough away so that they can stay out of the animal’s range.
  5. If an animal is not friendly then leave it alone – Many children have an issue in which they will pursue an obviously unfriendly animal trying to pet it. Ducks in the pond, pigeons on the sidewalk and wild rabbits are all examples of animals that will typically run away from children. If you teach your child not to pursue them they will be safer. A duck has strong wings and a beak that can hurt a small child. Even a rabbit can do some damage with its hind legs if picked up. A scared animal is a dangerous animal, so a child should not corner or attempt to catch them.
  6. If an animal looks sick then do not go near it – Sick animals are another sdogtory. A bird with a broken wing, a squirrel that has fallen out of a tree or an animal hurt on the side of the road all make our sympathies flare, and children are more sympathetic than some adults. However you should caution children against getting too close to a hurt or sick animal. A hurt animal is a scared and dangerous one that is unpredictable. If they are sick, with rabies for example, they could seriously hurt or even kill your child. Never let your child pick up or touch a hurt, sick or dead animal.
  7. Never give a child control of a pet they can’t handle – Many times I have seen a large dog’s leash held by a small child. This is just an unsafe practice that is foolish. If a child cannot control the animal then they should not be given responsibility for it. Even a nice big dog can jump on a small child and hurt or scare him. And what would happen if the dog decided to run out into traffic? Your child would be pulled along with him! It is not worth risking your child’s safety or the safety of others. Until your child is big enough to handle the pet, keep a firm hand on the leash.kid smile
  8. Stay away from animals with babies – Even though the babies might look cute, their mother will not be happy if you touch them. Many animals do not like strangers around their children. They become very protective and can hurt a child that approaches their litter. Teach children to give mother animals a lot of room and do not try to touch her or the babies.
  9. Do not feed an animal or touch its food – Taking away an animal’s food is the easiest way to get bitten. Even your own family dog can nip at someone trying to take his food. Teach children to leave animals that are eating alone and never try to take away their food, toys or treats. Children should also be taught not to try to feed animals unless told to do so. Wild animals especially can hurt a child that is attempting to feed them. If they want to give an animal food, such as ducks or birds, they should lie out or throw out the food in an open area. Never feed animals out of your hands.kids-animals
  10. Stay quiet, move slow – In danger or in safety it is important to be quiet and slow around animals. Almost all animals react to noise and fast movements negatively. They can become scared or overly excited. Teach your children to move slowly when picking up a pet and to stay calm. If a strange animal approaches them they should move away slowly and not run or make a lot of noise. By doing this they can stay safe around animals.kids-and-animals

Needless to say, if you have a very small child that is unable to understand the need to be careful around animals then you should either limit their exposure to animals or make sure you are closely supervising any encounters they might have. It is better to be safe than sorry, after all.

As children get older they will be exposed to other children’s pets, animals at the zoo and even wild animals. They will not always have an adult around to keep them safe. By teaching your children to respect the animals and stay calm and quiet your children can stay safe.

Author Bio:

Paul Taylor started www.babysittingjobs.com which offers an aggregated look at those sites to help families find sitters and to help sitters find families easier than ever. He loves writing, with the help of his wife. He has contributed quality articles for different blogs & websites.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. make friends online
    Aug 03, 2013 @ 04:24:24

    make friends online, Making traveling to other countries much more social. Find someone who has a spare room or a friend to show you around. Promote your town or event.

    Reply

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