Accidents that happen due to animals do not occur often and those that do occur are rarely deadly. When such accidents happen, though, they are very unpleasant and often cause children to develop phobias that may follow them throughout their lives.
It is important for children to understand that they can avoid being injured by animals if they respect their needs and habits, and are cautious in their behavior towards them.
When do they attack
Animals usually attack when they are ill or when they are protecting their young or their food, and in general when they feel threatened.
The same is true for reptiles and insects. And, while Greece does not have any poisonous reptiles, insects, fish, or other sea organisms, it is important for children to learn how to identify them and how to avoid them.
Prevention of injury from pets
• Approach an unfamiliar animal calmly and carefully so that it does not feel threatened and decides to attack.
• Avoid playing roughly with friends when a dog is nearby. If it feels that it’s master is in danger it may attack.
• Select the appropriate kind of pet depending on the age of the child. Dogs are usually much more patient and tolerant with children than cats, especially if they belong to a large breed. The “toy” breeds are particularly delicate and edgy, which is why they are more suitable for children older than 8 years old, who can control their movements and their games.
• As impressive as they are, wild animals are in no way suitable as pets. They can never truly adapt to the home environment, or to humans and they may have unpredictable reactions.
• A dog that has been living with a family for a long time might become jealous of a new baby. In such a case careful handling is required.
Teach the children
• Children should be taught to keep a distance from a female cat or dog that is with its young. She might see any movement as a threat and her maternal instinct will demand that she protect her offspring by any means necessary.
• Children must understand that they should never bother an animal when it is eating or sleeping, as it might be startled and react unpredictably.
Prevention of accidents out in the country
• Should we come across wild animals in nature, we must not panic, shout, or attack them. If we back away calmly there is a big possibility that they will not bother us.
• If we live in the country we should learn to identify poisonous insects and reptiles that might be found in our area, so that we can avoid them.
• We must avoid placing our hands in crevices or under rocks, especially during the summer, because reptiles and insects usually nest there.
• We should also avoid walking among tall grass/weeds in the summer. If that is unavoidable, we must make a noise in front of us with a stick in order to scare away any insects or reptiles that might be there.
• Never bother a bee. When bees and wasps feel threatened they attack in a swarm and the multiple stings can cause an allergic reaction, and a person could have an anaphylactic shock.
• We should learn the types of dangerous and poisonous fish, and teach our children not to touch them if they catch one.
• Not all jellyfish are poisonous, but it is safer not to swim in the sea when there are many concentrated there.
The Charity “Pediatric Trauma Care” is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to reduce Children’s Accidents and their severity. As part of the “Education on Trauma Prevention” Program, the Charity holds presentations in Kindergardens and Primary Schools in Attica, educating children, teachers and parents on how to prevent accidents from occurring. Brochures concerning safety tips for various categories of accidents are distributed throughout Greece. To date the presentations of Education on Trauma Prevention have been attended by more than 48.500 children and 3.000 teachers and parents.
For more information about the Program you can contact the Charity on 210 6741 933 or at [email protected].