No, Animals are Not Toys: Teaching Children to Be Safe Around Wildlife

If you think back and imagine what it was like playing outside as a kid and exploring new areas, you can see that your children could view an open wildlife area like a giant playground, which is why they need to be taught how to stay safe around wildlife.

Most of us have at some point used the services of someone like in order to sort out a domestic issue with insects and animals, but if your child encounters animals in their natural wild surroundings, they need to know how to show respect and understand the potential dangers.

Safety starts at home

A good starting point for teaching children about safety around animals, is learning how to handle and respect domestic pets like dogs.

If you teach your kids the skills needed to behave safely around domesticated animals, this will help them to develop a healthy respect and confidence on how to behave, that should serve them well if they encounter an animal in the wild at some point.

You need to always supervise your children around animals and never leave them alone together. The main lesson to teach them at first, is to treat animals calmly and gently, and never to tease, frighten or corner an animal, no matter how friendly they appear to be.

Teach them to give animals space and leave them alone if they are eating or sleeping. If they are approached by an unfamiliar dog, demonstrate to your child that it is better to stand still and avoid eye contact, rather than run or scream.

Feeding rules

It can be tempting for a young child to consider feeding a wild animal, especially if they are used to interacting with their own family pet in this way, but your child needs to understand that wild animals are not the same.

In some areas, wild animals have lost some of their fear for humans, which means that an animal like a raccoon for example, might just wander into your neighborhood, in search of food.

It also seems that attacks by squirrels are on the rise too. What can appear as a cute furry animal to your child, can soon turn aggressive in pursuit of food. A squirrel standing on its hind legs and seemingly begging for food, can appeal to a young child, but you need to teach your children that this cute pose could soon turn nasty if they see you have food that they want.

It is always better to demonstrate to your children that the best policy is to give wild animals some space and to move somewhere safer if there is a danger of an aggressive encounter, as a result of food.

Out and about

A fundamental wildlife lesson that your child should learn is that while large predatory animals can certainly be a danger to people, their general instinct is often to only attack when threatened or are protecting their young.

Teaching your children that animals are not like toys, will help them respect and enjoy domestic and wild animals more safely and should keep them safer.

Robert Kunst is president of Fischer Environmental Services, an award winning and nationally recognized company which offers full service pest control in the The South-Eastern USA.

About Jammie Morey

Jammie is of Native American descent, she has family from the Ojibway/Chippewa tribe in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. She was born and raised in Michigan, where she later moved to Tennessee with her husband and daughter. Jammie and her husband home school their daughter, and enjoy doing many things together as a family. Some of those activities include geocaching, hiking, fishing, playing games together as a family, and just being silly with their daughter. Jammie is Owner of The Neat Things in Life. For more information visit on Google+.

Speak Your Mind


The Neat Things in Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to