While most children love animals and ask their parents repeatedly for a pet, it’s important to note that all animals, even those that you’ve known and loved for years, have their own instincts that can kick in at any moment. Because of this, it’s important that you teach your children how to act around animals so they don’t end up getting bitten or sustaining a more serious injury as a result of getting on the wrong side of an animal. So to help you teach these principles, here are three pet safety tips that will keep your children from getting harmed by an animal.
Talk To The Owner Before Approaching A Pet:
If you don’t have a pet of your own, your children might get very excited when they see someone out and about who does have a pet with them. And while your child might want to run right up to that pet and start being friendly, you have no idea how this animal is going to respond to something like that. For this reason, Hanady Kader, a contributor to Seattle Children’s, shares that you should teach your kids to always talk to the owner of a pet before approaching it. And even if the owner says it’s fine to pet the animal, teach your child to be careful until they’ve built up a brief rapport with the animal.
Keep Your Hands Where They Can Be Seen:
To help in building up this rapport, it’s important to know what most animals like or will tolerate and what’s going to be off-putting to them. According to Parents.com, you should teach your children the right way to start interacting with an animal. Rather than instantly running your hands all over the animal’s body, start by keeping your hands where the animal can see them. This means petting or patting near the face or neck. Once the animal has warmed up to you a bit, then your children can move on to other areas of the animal that are less visible to him or her.
Don’t Ever Feed Unfamiliar Animals:
Most people, even kids, understand that the quickest way to get someone to like you is by giving them something they love. For most animals, this includes food. However, feeding animals can be very dangerous, especially for young children. For this reason, KidsHealth.org warns against ever feeding unfamiliar animals, be it pets or wild animals. You never know how the animal will respond when it’s hungry or eating, which could put your child in danger of getting hurt.
To keep your children from getting hurt or otherwise injured by an animal, consider using the tips mentioned above to teach them how to interact with pets.