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3 Things To Teach Your Kids About Staying Safe Around Animals

20th May 2019

While animals can be fun to look at and learn about, many kids don’t naturally know how to give animals the space they need and the respect they deserve. Especially if you have curious children, they could get themselves into a situation with animals where they end up getting bitten or attacked. Luckily, there are some things you can teach your kids to help them know what’s safe to do around animals and what behavior should be avoided. To show you just what these things are, here are three things to teach your kids about staying safe around animals.

Stay Away From Wild Animals Outside

For most kids, they either have a pet of their own or know someone who owns a pet. Because of this, your children might think that any animals they see is tame or friendly. But to keep your kids safe, you must teach them that this is the exception, not the rule. Especially when it comes to animals that they encounter outside or in the wild, it’s important that they know the proper way to act. According to Dr. Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, a contributor to KidsHealth.org, you should teach your children to never approach an animal that they see in the wild. Additionally, they should never try to feed a wild animal or a pet that they see without first asking permission from the owner.

What To Do In A Scary Situation

If you have a child that’s easily scared or intimidated, they might become very frightened when they see an animal or one approaches them. While their first instinct might be to run away or yell, MyChildSafety.net shares that you should try to teach your child to fight against these instincts. Rather, it’s best for your child to stand still if an animal approaches them, especially a dog. And if the dog pushes them over or they somehow get knocked to the ground, teach your child to curl up like a rock or a ball and protect their face and neck until someone comes to help them.

Proper Greetings To Pets

For children who don’t spend a lot of time around pets or animals, they might not know the right way to treat them once they are around them. So before your child is going to be spending time around someone else’s pet, you should teach them the proper way to greet a pet, particularly a dog. According to Parents.com, you should remind your child to ask the dog’s owner if they can pet the dog before they reach out to the pet. After they’ve been given permission, you should teach your child to allow the dog to come to them and smell their hand before attempting to pet it. Once the dog approaches your child, encourage them to pat or pet the dog in such a way that the dog can easily see them, like stroking under the chin or scratching behind the ears.

To help your kids stay safe around animals, consider teaching them some of the principles mentioned above.

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