Bringing Home Baby: Keep Children Healthy Around Animals

You and your newborn are returning home, but how do you introduce him or her to your pet? A new arrival is an exciting time for all members of the family, but it’s best to make the transition as easy as possible to keep happy and healthy children and pets.

“Infants and young children are at a higher risk of developing illnesses from animals because of their developing immune systems, but you can keep your family healthy and happy with some preventive measures,” said Teena John, MD, a pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services – Koke Mill.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend these steps to keep infants and children healthy around animals:

  • Always supervise children around animals.
  • Never allow children to kiss animals or to put their hands or other objects into their mouths after handling animals.
  • Always wash children’s hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for animals or cleaning their habitats. Adults should supervise handwashing for young children.
  • Wash your hands before breastfeeding or preparing formula.
  • Keep children away from animals while they are eating to prevent the risk of bites or other injuries.

The CDC also recommends preventing children under 5 years of age from having contact with reptiles, amphibians and backyard poultry.

Speak with your veterinarian about how to best prepare your pet for your newborn’s arrival.

Preparing for baby?

Memorial offers a many classes at affiliate locations to help you throughout pregnancy and beyond:

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