10 rules for kids in the vet clinic
It’s the summer, it’s the holidays, the kids are at home and, in my clinic.
Here are a few rules that I, and my colleagues, would be ever so grateful if you could follow…..
- Please keep them adequately restrained in the waiting room. Collars and baskets can be provided. Remember that other animals there may not take kindly to being poked and shrieked at by a small person, no matter how cute they might be (the pets – not your child).
- Sharps bins are not lucky dips
- Consulting tables are not climbing frames, nor are they edible. (Surely it’s not just me who’s had kids sucking on the exam table while I try to concentrate on talking to their parents?!)
- Asking questions is fine but a constant stream of ‘What’s that?’, What are you doing now?’, ‘Why do you need to gloves?’,‘WHERE are you going to stick that?!’ is just annoying. Regardless of how proud of Tarquin’s questioning nature you may be.
- Screaming -DON”T HURT FLUFFY, MUMMY, SHE”S GOING TO HURT FLUFFY!!’ at the top of their voices is not acceptable.
- Pulling up a chair so they can see what is going on is fine, sitting on the table and cuddling Fluffy is not. (This really happened, the mother was most surprised I wouldn’t let her child hang on to the cat while I examined and vaccinated it.)
- If it’s just you, heavily pregnant, with a toddler, pram and a cat in a basket, not only do you deserve a medal, you deserve some help! Take a well deserved break while my nurses and I deal with your pet.
- We are not free entertainment. Bringing Fluffy, your kids, their friends and a couple of extra hangers-on will be a disaster. I do not need a greek chorus of questions, shrieks, laughter and twitter updates just for a vaccine and anal glands.
- Don’t. Touch. Anything.
- If your pet growls or tries to bite me, the correct reaction from your children is not to laugh. Not only does this make me steamingly angry and prone to outburst, it won’t be as amusing if it’s their face when Fluffy’s ear is sore next time.
If your children are good and stand and watch politely I, and most of my colleagues, will be more than happy to answer questions, tell them what we are doing, let them listen to Fluffy’s heart and, even, if we aren’t too busy, give Teddy a quick health check if he came along for the ride!