Today marks the start of Child Safety Week, an annual community education campaign run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT). Many families have dogs, and it’s true that dogs and children can be great friends. But, it’s important that parents teach children how to stay safe around dogs, this will protect both the child and the dog as well as ensuring they remain the best of friends.
The following points relate to all dogs, including your own however good they are with your child:
- Supervise your child when they’re with your dog – understand your dogs body language and if they look uncomfortable, let them go somewhere they feel safe and happy.
- Teach children not to approach dogs at inappropriate times, i.e. when they’re eating or enjoying a chew, when they have a toy or something else they really value, when they are sleeping, unwell, injured or tired.
- Teach children to be gentle, kind and polite with dogs. Don’t let your child climb on dogs, pull their ears, be in their face, or anything that might upset a dog. It’s NOT cute!
- Teach your child how to play nicely with your dog. Teaching fun tricks is a great way for them to positively interact.
- Don’t let your children approach dogs they don’t know.