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Teaching Your Children Animal Hygiene

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 17 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Hygiene Washing Hands Pets Animals Germs

Family pets make ideal companions, and can help your children understand how to show kindness, loyalty and empathy, as well as how to be responsible for an animal’s welfare. Understanding that maintaining high standards of hygiene is important will help your child act responsibly and sensibly where cleanliness and health are concerned.

Encouraging Your Child to Take an Interest

Teaching your child to care for a family pet will enable them to experience a sense of accomplishment, and encourage them to build a nurturing relationship with the animal, whether that is a cat, dog, small rodent or reptile. Children of all ages can be encouraged to take an interest in a pet. This could include being responsible for choosing new toys for the pet or assisting with washing and grooming.

Teaching Your Child How to Care For a Pet

The best, and most effective, way of showing your child how to properly care for a pet is to lead by example. Being a good pet carer yourself will encourage your child to take an interest in helping out with feeding and grooming etc. Pointing out, and reinforcing, rules concerning hygiene, safety and animal training and welfare will also help your children understand the importance of maintaining good hygiene around animals.

By choosing the right type of pet for your family you will be encouraging your child to become confident and comfortable around animals. Teaching your child how to be a good pet carer will therefore become a natural part of home life.

Preventative Measures

In order to stop the spread of germs and disease your child must understand the importance of animal hygiene. Teaching, by outlining the potential health risks and hazards, is a necessary preventative measure that all responsible pet carers must acknowledge. Without explaining the simple ways of maintaining a good hygiene practice around animals and pets, your child will not be able to understand why hygiene rules are so important.

Throughout the day our hands accumulate dirt and germs, from many different sources – from coming into contact with other people, contaminated surfaces, raw or undercooked meat or from handling animals and their waste. The simple task of ensuring we wash our hands thoroughly, before and after handling and preparing food, going to the toilet or petting, playing and grooming pets and animals considerably reduces the risk of contamination and infection.

Eliminating Germs Through Hand Washing

Hand-to-hand contact is usually responsible for the spread of infectious diseases like flu and gastrointestinal disorders, which can result in severe diarrhoea. Not washing your hands properly also increases the spread of food-related illnesses like Salmonella and E.coli. To eliminate these, and other germs, it is important to teach your child how to wash their hands properly, using soap and water. Where this is not possible using an anti-bacterial hand gel or sanitizer is a good alternative option.

Hand Washing Made Easy

Wet your hands thoroughly under running water, and apply soap – liquid or from a bar. Lather your hands well, and allow a few moments for scrubbing between fingers and under nails. Rinse hands well and dry thoroughly with a clean towel. Using the towel to turn off the tap will also help reduce the spread of germs.

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