As the colder weather sets in animals who would generally occupy the backyard once again become part of the family. From an early age children should be instructed on how to handle themselves around dogs, cats and other animals.
Precautions To Take
* Teach children about the dangers of approaching dogs or cats quickly, startling them and activating their natural response to run or worse, to attack.
* Children should be taught not to pull on a cat's or dog's ears, tail or neck - or to physically harass an animal in any way. They should be instructed about the dangers of teasing animals with sticks, food or other objects.
* Children need to know how to react to signs of aggression in an animal, like a dog growling or a cat snarling or hissing. Show the children how to back away from an aggressive animal slowly and not to run.
* If a child is bitten by a dog or a cat, seek medical aid as soon as possible. Try to remember the circumstances of the attack. All of this information may be useful in treating injuries.
More than anything else, children need to be closely supervised around family pets. A happy moment can turn ugly in an instant when a dog or cat is not in a playful mood when approach by a child. There is a fine line between playing with and teasing an animal