While many children love seeing or being around animals, even the tamest animals or pets can sometimes be dangerous if your children aren’t careful. Because of this, kids the world over get bitten by all types of animals on a daily basis. And while many times these injuries aren’t serious, they still could be easily avoided had your children known how to safely interact with animals.
So to help ensure that your kids never get hurt by an animal, here are three things to teach your kids about being safe around animals.
Stay Away From Outdoor Animals
One of the most important things you can teach your kids about animals is how to keep their distance, especially when it comes to wild animals. Although an animal may look cute and harmless, you never know what an animal could be carrying that could cause serious harm to a human.
To best teach this concept to your child, Dr. Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, a contributor to KidsHealth.org, recommends that you teach your kids never to go near animals they see outdoors. Additionally, you should also teach them never to feed animals they find outside, even ones that may traditionally be seen as harmless to feed, like ducks.
By drawing a line here, you’ll help to keep your kids away from animals that could bite or attack them.
Know Where To Keep Their Hands
Not all animals your children encounter will be wild animals. Many times, your kids will see a dog or cat in your neighborhood that they want to pet or interact with. And while their instinct might be to run at the animals, it’s important that they know how to approach pets in a safe way.
According to Hanady Kader, a contributor to Seattle Children’s Hospital, you should teach your children to keep their hands behind their backs while they ask permission to approach or pet someone’s animal. Once they have permission to get near or pet someone’s animal, teach them to keep their hands where the animal can see them and to move slowly and cautiously closer to the animal. This will keep them from scaring the animal.
Teach Kids When To Leave Pets Alone
In many homes, kids will have pets of their own to play with. But just because an animal is familiar with your child doesn’t mean you should let your guard down completely when your children interact with this animal.
To help your kids stay safe, even around their own pets, Scholastic.com advises that you teach your kids never to approach or pet an animal while it’s eating, sleeping, or playing with one of its toys. The animal could be reacting negatively to this disturbance and lash out at your child.
To keep your kids safe from animal bites or other negative encounters, consider using the tips mentioned above to teach them how to stay safe around animals.