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Talk & Play Quiz

This self-care resource is based on the ages and stages of children's communication development. It has been built with  Norfolk and Waveney Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) team, to support communication development.


Do you need more specific advice for your child's needs?

You may want to look at our tailored advice:

Staying safe advice for additional needs


Do you have an assistance dog?

If you have an assistance dog, you can receive training and support from your relevant assistance dog charity. For example, Guide Dogs or Medical Detection Dogs.

Keeping new-borns and babies safe around pets

Having a baby brings about a lot of change for everyone, including your dog or cat. For example, they may no longer be allowed in certain rooms or on furniture. Some cats and dogs do not tolerate change well.

Before your baby arrives, it’s a good idea to get your pet used to the new equipment. For example, high chairs, prams toys and cots. You can also think about any new routines or rules your pet may face and try to introduce these slowly.

Create a safe space for your pet to go when they need some space or you are looking after the baby. Encourage them here using treats and toys. 

When your new baby arrives, your pet is naturally going to be curious. Let them see and smell the baby, but ensure you are always supervising them. Never leave your baby alone with a pet.

Make sure your pet is exercised, fed and given attention. If you have any concerns speak to your midwife or health visitor.



Keeping children safe around pets

Children behave very differently to adults. They are often unpredictable and love to hug, kiss and be close to animals. Children are often running around, playing or shouting. Pets can find this behaviour overwhelming and threatening. For this reason, children are more likely to be bitten by dogs and cats than other age groups. But there are lots of things you can do to help keep your child and pet safe.

Stay with your child. It’s important that an adult supervises your toddler or child when they are around pets. Never leave your child alone with a dog, even your own.

Set some rules. Teach your child not to approach pets when they are eating, sleeping, unwell or tired.

Give your pet a safe space. This can be a place for your pet to retreat to when they need. Children’s behaviour can tire pets out, so allow them to have time to rest in peace.

Be gentle and calm. Children love to hug and kiss animals, just like they would to humans. But this sort of behaviour can sometimes cause pets to become worried or angry. Teach your child to be gentle and kind to animals. Do not let your child climb on them or pull their ears or tail. Remind your child not to shout when around animals. 

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