Child Safety: Pets
Keep pets in good health
All pets, whether they are kept indoors or outside, should be in good health, show no evidence of disease, and be friendly toward children. The following suggestions benefit your pets and may also help protect young children from both illness and injury:
Train and prepare dogs
If you have a dog, train and prepare it for contact with children. Many dogs will try to dominate children because of their small size. Also, some children aren't well-behaved around animals. These factors put children at risk for injury. The following suggestions can help prevent such problems. Some of the suggestions may also work with other pets:1
Pets and newborns
Be especially careful when bringing a newborn home where a pet has enjoyed "only child" status. Animals can become jealous, aggressive, and defensive about trying to protect their place in the family. Also, newborns don't act, smell, or sound human, which may confuse pets. The weak, high-pitched cry of newborns may also sound like prey to animals. Even a very loving, well-behaved pet can quickly transform into predator mode with a newborn.
Try the following to prepare your pet for sharing its home with an infant:1
Before the baby is born
After the baby is born
Pets and young children
Children will likely encounter pets whether or not they have them in their own home. Teach your children how to approach animals, and set rules for your children to follow when they are around a pet:
Also, teach children how to react if they are confronted with an aggressive pet. The following apply specifically to dogs, but some concepts can apply to other household pets:
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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