Keeping Kids Happy and Healthy Around Animals: 3 Essential Tips

Keeping Kids Happy and Healthy Around Animals: 3 Essential Tips – Animal friends are the best! Our furry, scaly, and underwater friends are such an important part of our lives. When it comes to our kids, we need to make sure they’re handling our animal friends in a safe way! Find out the three essential tips you need to talk to your kids about right here on Newsymom!

This is Public Health is brought to you in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Health Department.

If your little ones are anything like mine, they’re probably drawn to the furry, feathery, and scaly creatures that share our world. While it’s wonderful to see them forming these connections, it’s crucial to ensure their safety and well-being while interacting with animals. In this article, we’ll explore three essential tips for keeping children healthy around animals.

Tip 1: Always Supervise Children with Animals

Picture this: a child’s eyes light up at the sight of a playful puppy, and their instinct is to reach out and embrace the new furry friend. While it warms our hearts to see these magical moments unfold, we can’t stress enough the importance of supervision. Just like children need our guidance in everyday activities, they also need it when interacting with animals.

Animals, regardless of how domesticated they are, can react unpredictably, especially when faced with sudden movements or loud noises. By supervising your child’s interactions, you can ensure that both your child and the animal remain safe and happy. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to teach your child about empathy and respect for all living beings.

Tip 2: Wash Hands Before and After Handling Animals

Let’s be real – kids have a knack for getting dirty, and animals are no exception! Whether they’re petting a purring cat, feeding treats to a curious goat, or even just observing a majestic bird from a distance, it’s crucial to wash those tiny hands afterward. Proper hand hygiene helps prevent the spread of germs and potential illnesses that can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Before your child jumps into their next animal adventure, make it a fun routine to wash hands with soap and water. Not only will this help keep your child healthy, but it will also instill good hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.

Petting zoos are the perfect place to keep hand sanitizers and Wet Wipes handy, but make sure to know where the hand washing stations are pronto! Need more resources on animal safety? Check out: How to Keep Children Healthy Around Animals

Tip 3: Animals to Avoid Under Age 5: Reptiles, Amphibians, Backyard Poultry, and Rodents

While many animals can bring joy and companionship to our lives, there are a few critters that the CDC recommends children under the age of five years old avoid handling. These include:

  • Reptiles (lizards, snakes, and turtles): These animals can carry bacteria such as Salmonella, which can be harmful, especially to young children with developing immune systems.
  • Amphibians (frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders): Similar to reptiles, amphibians can also carry germs like Salmonella. It’s best to admire these creatures from a safe distance.
  • Backyard poultry, including baby chicks or ducklings: While they may seem adorable, these birds can carry germs like Salmonella. Enjoy their cuteness without direct contact.
  • Rodents (rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs): These little critters might look harmless, but they can carry germs that may lead to diseases. Opt for observing them through their enclosures.

As parents, our top priority is the health and happiness of our children. By following these three simple tips – supervising interactions, practicing good hand hygiene, and being cautious about certain animals – you can create a safe and enjoyable environment for your kids to connect with their animal pals.

Stay up-to-date on physicals and vaccines with the TCHD!

And speaking of health, as the new school year approaches, it’s a great time to ensure your children are up-to-date with their physicals and vaccinations. Reach out to the Tuscarawas County Health Department at (330) 343-5555 x. 1740 or 1810 to schedule appointments and give your kids a healthy start to the academic year. Remember, a little caution goes a long way in creating a world of joy and wonder for your children while keeping them safe and sound. Happy animal adventures! 🐾

Melissa Klatt


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