Pets and Babies: Keeping Everyone Safe

 

The family pet can be your child’s best friend. But even that sweet, adorable pup may lash out if provoked. And infants and very young children may more easily pick up illnesses from animals. Here are some tips for keeping everyone in your household safe and happy.

 

  • Never leave a baby or child alone with a dog.

  • Always supervise any contact between your baby and animals.

  • Don’t play rough games, such as wrestling, with your dog.

  • Be careful around strange dogs.

  • Don’t let your child reach through a fence to pet a dog.

  • Keep your baby away from any animals that seem aggressive or unfriendly.

  • Don’t allow your baby to kiss pets.

  • Always wash your baby’s hands after he or she touches a pet—and before the baby puts a hand to his or her mouth.

  • Don’t allow your baby to touch reptiles, baby chicks, amphibians or animals in a petting zoo. These animals are more likely to carry diseases, such as Salmonella.

 

If your baby is bitten or scratched by any animal, wash the wound with soap and water and call your pediatrician for further advice.

 

Online Medical Reviewer: Florence Desrosiers, MD

Date Last Reviewed: 4/6/2010

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