Ask to be notified in the event of any heat loss emergencies, and advise the fire department of the location of live animals in the building in advance of any fire emergencies. Identify an alternate caregiver another teacher or member of the staff, a mature student, or your local animal control officer who is willing to provide temporary care if you are unavailable or if inclement weather forces a school closing.
Identify this caregiver on your lesson plans for substitute teachers. If more than one animal is kept in the same cage, they should be behaviorally compatible and of the same sex. Female mammals often do better in group housing situations than males do because they may be less territorial and less likely to fight, causing injuries. It is always best to seek advice on this issue before creating a situation you will later regret.
Breeding small mammals such as mice or rats is not recommended because populations of these and other domestic animals are already abundant. Mealworms, crickets, and fruit flies make great subjects for lessons in reproduction.
Regular, preventative veterinary care should be provided for all animals kept in the classroom. This is not only important for the animals; it also sends a good message to your students about the importance of routine medical care. Before you acquire a classroom pet, be sure there is a veterinarian in your area who is knowledgeable about the care of that particular species.
Benefits of Classroom Animals
If euthanasia becomes necessary, it should be performed only by a veterinarian or by a trained technician. Educators will provide parents and guardians with information about the classroom pet, the purpose of acquiring the animal how its care will fit into the curriculum , and a plan for how any injuries bites, scratches will be managed should they arise.
Privacy Search Site. Classroom Pets: The Humane Way. Health and Veterinary Care If more than one animal is kept in the same cage, they should be behaviorally compatible and of the same sex. Sample Classroom Pet Policy for Schools Considerations to make in advance: Before acquiring a classroom pet, the educator will investigate whether any student is: allergic or sensitive to any particular species or their food or bedding materials immune compromised, and therefore more susceptible to zoological illnesses Educators will provide parents and guardians with information about the classroom pet, the purpose of acquiring the animal how its care will fit into the curriculum , and a plan for how any injuries bites, scratches will be managed should they arise.
Type of pet: only domestic animals may be kept as pets wild animals may not be kept as pets this includes locally caught frogs, snakes, etc.
Classroom Pets: The Humane Way
Connect With Us. How can you ensure the health and safety of your children and your classroom pet? Here are some guidelines. Of course, these ideas would never replace your state or local child care regulations and laws, but may help as you establish your classroom pet policies.
As noted earlier, it is critical that you learn and abide by your state and local regulations regarding pets in the child care center to reduce risk to your families, to you and to your facility.
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What if a classroom pet scratches or bites a child in your care? You can greatly reduce the risk of any injury from the animal following some simple guidelines and common sense. However, we are talking about animals. Even family pets scratch or bite the families who care for them when provoked.
If this happens, these steps should be taken:. This is a lot to consider — as it should be since bringing a pet into your center environment is a big step. But the benefits are worth it!
You can learn more by talking to peer centers that include pets in their learning experience. Learn more about pets in the classroom from Pets In The Classroom. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Previous Next. View Larger Image.
Important Considerations for Bringing a Pet into your Child Care Center Have you ever considered having a pet in your child care center? There are all types of curriculum additions that pets help you to explore because having them in your classroom can help children learn about: Compassion Responsibility Scientific Concepts Pets give children the opportunity to absorb many concepts through observation and help them to develop interests in many new kinds of animals.
How much are you willing to invest in this classroom pet? How will having a pet in the classroom impact the cleanliness of your center? Does having a classroom pet impact your licensing or insurance? What type of pets should not be considered? What if the pet gets sick? Who cares for the pet over long holidays? What if a child is allergic to the pet?
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Do you want your children to handle the pet? Will the children be the ones feeding the pet?
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Some of these diseases are: Salmonellosis — Caused by salmonella bacteria and transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with the feces of an infected pet. Pets may carry the disease but not appear ill themselves Rabies — Viral infection of wild animals that can spread to domestic animals by a bite or scratch Diarrhea — Can be caused by Campylobacter and parasites such as giardia Cat-scratch Disease — Usually transmitted by kittens, causes fever and swollen glands Ringworm — Fungal skin infection that can be spread from dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs Toxoplasmosis — Transmitted via cat waste, can affect anyone but is can cause birth defects in unborn babies Psittacosis — Illness similar to pneumonia transmitted by infected parrots ad other exotic birds Learning about these diseases and understanding how they are transmitted will help you to ensure that the classroom pet policies you put in place in your center provide protection from them.
The pet must be in good health, have up-to-date licenses and vaccinations and behave friendly toward children. Be sure that you know the pet well and understand its temperament and how it behaves in common classroom situations or when it might feel frightened or threatened. Keep food and water dishes separate from the kitchen sink.
The pet should only be handled by children when supervised and everyone handling the pet must wash their hands each time they handle the pet or pet items.
Highlighting Strategies for Student Success
Never allow children to interact with a mother animal or her babies while she is with them. Never bring your classroom pet into a room that is used by children whose asthma may be triggered by animal dander. In fact, it is wise to confine the pet to specific areas within your center so that there are pet-free zones for children with sensitive systems. Show the children safe behavior with the pet, emphasizing that the pet should not be teased or harassed.
Alert parents to the presence of a classroom pet BEFORE they enroll their children in your center in case the child has allergies or fears particular to your type of pet. Pregnant care providers should never come in contact with cat feces. If this happens, these steps should be taken: Remove your classroom pet to a secure area away from the children. Use disposable gloves and wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Apply ice or a cold pack over a cloth for swelling for at least 5 minutes. If the child is comfortable with the cold pack, you can leave it in place up to 20 minutes.