Handling advice for young children

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Handling advice for young children

Postby Evergrowingfamily » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:26 am

Hi,
I was wondering if any of you have had experience with young children handling your bearded dragons? We have four year, two year and 2 month old (human) children. I am ALWAYS struggling to find ways to get our 8 month old dragon out more to get enrichment and exercise. But it's hard because I have to protect her from the kids. I have seen beardie slings and pics of kids holding their dragons. However, my four year old just isn't quite fast enough to notice when our dragon looks like she's about to jump (when she's being held) or to understand the signs of stress and when to leave our dragon alone (if she's petting her over and over again for example. I never allow the kids to be in the room with her alone, even if she's in her tank. I considered getting one of the beardie slings, to allow her some outside of the tank time. I just don't know if she would chill in it or try to jump! Maybe I can attach a leash/harness to her while she's in a sling so if she tried to jump she won't crash into the floor? Not sure if that's a good idea or if that would be worse on her. I just feel so bad because I want her to be able to roam and explore and be a happy dragon, but she's got to spend a lot of time in her tank because I don't want the littles chasing her or being too rough. Also about what age did any of you notice the kids understood how to properly handle a dragon? Thanks everyone!
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Re: Handling advice for young children

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:00 am

Your children are too young to know --- I would let them hold the dragon w/ you there at the tank --- they dont know how fragile they are -- we call them hearty as far as health but physically they can take some abuse but one wrong move and thats it -- I would let the dragon out to roam when the kids are at nap time in bed at nite or gone to school day care etc----------- we have had kids step on them drop them the dragon has jumped etc and the out come has not been good -- just beware of the kids and the dragon -
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Re: Handling advice for young children

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:31 pm

I think until the kids are old enough to
1) know how to be gentle
2) lizard is not a toy

Lizard rules we applied to our grandson when he was little were restrict interaction w/ dragon to
a) helping feed the dragon it's live insects ( kids get a kick out of seeing a lizard watching them intently for the next insect to be dropped in for it eat and eating it )
b) only petting dragon with mom or dad , or more likely pop holding their hand and showing them gentle
c) if the dragon is comfortable with people enough to settle on their lap, tummy or chest , dragon nursing UNDER SUPERVISION
d) dragon never on floor or bed or lounge UNLESS kid is sitting quietly
e) beware small bright colored toys that are small enough for the dragon to eat
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Handling advice for young children

Postby budzoboy » Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:33 pm

My grand kids, range from 14 to 3 years, and they ALL love to hold JoJo.
my 14 yr old will let her sleep on her chest while she reads!
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Re: Handling advice for young children

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:15 am

4 grandkids …. I'm jealous , we only have one and would like more , but don't like our chances as son is now 38 yo and no new girlfriend we know of. .

3 yo little girls are still too young ( so supervised only and minimal handling & petting ).

I'd be very iffy about the little boy , espec if he's anything like my grandson who is turning 10 soon ( he's grown up with his pop always having pet eastern water skinks, eastern bluetongue skinks and central bearded dragons, and sometimes pet g.dubia geckos and delicate rainbow skinks, as well as helping pop give buggy food treats to the resident wild skinks, dragons and birds ( who have become very tame and friendly enough to take bugs from his fingers ( very daintily ! :) which has always given him real thrill ).
Hé's more into board games , dvds & the Nitendo videogame console and computer games atm (which we insist on being muted and restrict time on when visiting / staying over).
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Handling advice for young children

Postby Evergrowingfamily » Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:10 pm

Okay thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. This is my first BD, and my kids are all really young, so I'm learning. Unfortunately, none of my kids nap except for the youngest, so we usually don't take our dragon out until late in the evening when all or most of the kids are sleeping. I have been allowing the oldest to handfeed her and that has helped our dragon view handling as a positive thing. Just wanting the best life for our dragon. I never wanted to keep a pet locked in it's cage/enclosure all the time. On that note, I got our dragon this nice cat carrier that has big mesh windows and a fleece bottom, and a dragon leash/harness. We are going to try to get her on some of our outdoor outings this summer. As long as she's got some shade, it's nice and warm out and we can insure her safety of course. Hopefully that will bring her some enrichment!
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