Pet and Other Animal Bites: Prevention
- Choose a pet who is friendly and tolerates children. Pit bull terriers and Rottweilers are especially dangerous and do not make good pets for young children. Do not take the risk.
- Teach your dog the commands of “down” and “sit.” Teach your child how to give these commands.
- Teach your children not to touch strange animals, break up dogfights, go near a dog who is eating, or touch a sleeping dog.
- Children less than 4 years old should always be supervised around dogs and cats. Never allow them to tease animals.
- Infants less than 1 year old should never be left alone in a room with a pet. Some infants have been attacked by pets, perhaps because the pets were jealous.
- Protect your pet against rabies with yearly rabies shots. The first shot is normally given when your pet is 3 to 4Â months old.
- Teach your child not to run from a strange dog. Rapid movement can trigger a dog’s predatory instinct and cause it to start chasing and possible attacking.
- Never keep wild animals as pets. For example, ferrets have disfigured the faces of young children with their bites.
Written by Barton D. Schmitt, MD, author of â€œMy Child Is Sick,â€ American Academy of Pediatrics Books.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2007-08-28
Last reviewed: 2014-06-10
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright Â©1986-2015 Barton D. Schmitt, MD. All rights reserved.