Cuddly creatures will always attract children. Their impulse isn’t to assess if the animal is safe; their impulse is to go to it and try and interact with it. Children are usually unaware of the dangers of pets and wild animals, so it is a parent’s job to teach them proper pet handling and dangers to watch for to prevent serious injuries or death.
Following these guidelines will provide children with the tools to keep them safe around animals – wild or domesticated.
- 1 Always supervise when children and house pets are together — even the most trusting pet has its limits and can cause an injury within a moment.
- 2 Teach children that it is never okay to touch animals while they are eating or sleeping, as they can become startled and aggressive, even unintentionally.
- 3 Never allow a child to manhandle a pet (e.g, pull their ears or tail, poke their eyes, tug on fur, etc.).
- 4 Inform children about pet body language and signs for when an animal may be feeling annoyed, scared, or angry.
- 5 Instruct children to never approach an unknown animal.
- 6 Never startle a pet or pet it from behind.
- 7 Avoid wild animals, if possible.
- Children know how to treat pets with respect and gentleness.
- Children are aware of when pets may be annoyed, scared, or angry.
- Children know never to approach an unknown animal.