Children are often fascinated by badgers and wildlife; and often want
to see them to see just how cuddly they are. Of course, badgers aren't
always totally cuddly, and growing up children are often very keen to
see the reality of badgers - in tooth and claw if need be.
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Do badgers attack children?
When people ask about the risks badgers pose to children we
generally say none at all.
- We have never heard of a badger making an attack on a child.
- We have never heard of a child provoking a badger into attacking
- We have never heard of a badger biting, scratching or jumping on a
child (or a baby).
- We have never heard of a child catching any wildlife disease from
- We have never heard of a child having a fatal accident falling
into a badger sett.
Peace of Mind
If you really want to have additional peace of mind:
- Caution your children not to dig into any tunnels they find, or
push their hands, feet or other children into them. A minor sneeze
or snuffle from a badger deep inside the tunnel could cause the
child's imagination to go into over-drive so they become terrified
of the natural world.
- Caution them not to put their hands into the unknown, because they
might put their hands into "poo" and "urine" which may be present in
the tunnel if it is used by foxes, rabbits, weasels, stoats or rats.
- Follow strict hand-washing regimes before eating, if children have
been playing in the garden. Badgers, like other animals (and family
pets) can carry internal and external parasites, as well as
harbouring wildlife diseases which can, in principle, affect humans.
Using hot water and good soap/detergent on the hands is a good idea;
as is removing dirt from under the fingernails.
- Make sure your children have been vaccinated against the usual
illnesses and infections, such as BGC (the Tuberculosis vaccine) and Tetanus (lockjaw).
- If you have badger tunnels under the children's part of your
garden, ask your local Badger
Group if they could do a quick survey and to assess the risk of collapse if the children jump on the
tunnels or ride bikes or play heavy games on them.
We do not view badgers as having a higher overall risk to children than any
other wildlife species, farm animal, poultry or any family pet.
In terms of activities, have a look at our Education
Projects page for some ideas for things to do with children.
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