Every Monday morning, parents, carers and babies up to 12 months old come together at the Browns Plains Early Years Centre to spend time together in our Baby and Me group.
Supported by a child development specialist, a child and family practitioner and a child health nurse, each session usually begins with singing and movement, where everyone learns and shares interactive rhymes and songs together. This is followed by story time and an open play session or guest speaker.
Last month, our guests were Carly, Leah and Chuck the dog from RSPCA Wacol QLD. We decided it was time to talk about pet and baby safety after hearing some parents’ concerns about this topic.
Carly shared important cues to watch out for when dogs are displaying discomfort or concern, such as licking their nose, flicking their tongue or turning away.
Leah spent time with Chuck, introducing him to families and showing them how she was keeping him calm in what may have been a new and maybe challenging situation for him.
Among the important messages Carly and Leah shared about child safety were:
- Never leave children unsupervised around a dog
- Children and toddlers should not approach dogs while they are eating, sleeping or chewing on a toy.
“We had a wonderful morning together learning about pet safety,” said Benevolent Society staff member, Katie.
“Each of the families loved meeting and getting to know Chuck, Carly and Leah."
“One of the biggest things we got out of this experience was witnessing what a well-behaved and trained dog Chuck was, and then hearing Carly say that there was absolutely no way that she would leave him unsupervised with young children. I feel that this hit home with a number of the families, too, as I saw a few surprised faces after this comment.”
Baby and Me guest speakers are chosen based on the needs of the group. Past speakers have included a nutritionist, a speech pathologist, and an occupational therapist. The group’s organisers also run many other sessions, on topics such as playing with children, self-care, as well as information on sleep, feeding, and other concerns.
If you would like to know more about Baby and Me or any other programs and activities run by The Benevolent Society, please call us on 1800 236 762.
*Names and images have been changed to protect members of the family