Although animals can provide great learning opportunities for children, they can cause infections, injuries, and allergic reactions. It is best if staff have animals come to visit the day nursery, instead of keeping them as pets.
Here is how to keep staff and children safe when there are animals visiting or living in the day nursery.
Wash hands with soap and water immediately after touching animals, their belongings, or their food. Staff should supervise the children washing their hands, to make sure that they are washing them thoroughly.
Supervise the children when they are handling any animals.
Do not allow children to kiss animals, or put their faces close to any animals.
Pets should not be kept in food preparation, storage, or eating areas.
Store pet food in a safe place that children cannot access.
Ensure pets are kept in a cage or tank, and are not allowed to wander freely around the day nursery.
Routinely clean and disinfect pet cages or tanks, and the areas around them.
Monitor pets for any illnesses, and remove them from the day nursery immediately if you notice they are ill.
Although animals are not generally recommended, if they are present in a day nursery, those that require vaccinations should be up-to-date.
Did you know?
All animal bites and scratches should be reported to the Inspection Department at the Porcupine Health Unit. You can reach us at 1-705-267-1181 or toll free at 1-800-461-1818.
Animals such as lizards, snakes, frogs, turtles, birds, and monkeys present a high risk of spreading diseases such as salmonella. Do not bring them to your day nursery. If you are unsure about which animals you can bring into a day nursery, call your local public health inspector.