Risk assessment at grandparents house

I was at baby group today and someone mentioned that I should do a risk assessment at grandparents house since they are having my daughter one day a week when I’m back at work. Has anyone else done this or does this seem to be a bit over the top. The main thing I’m concerned about is there dog as he has tried to go for my daughter twice but they just justify it by saying he hasn’t been around babies before. My dog hasn’t either but not once has he gone for her. I have told them I don’t want him around my daughter but doubt they will listen
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Surely you can't be too cautious with your kids, right? The dog would worry me too... 😔 Hope you'll find a compromise and they'll take you seriously.

I know it’s easier said than done since you need to work, but if you know they’re not going to keep the dog in a different room and it’s already tried going for your baby twice, I’d seriously reconsider using them for childcare. The amount of life changing dog attacks we’ve seen in the news recently is so scary x

I don’t think a risk assessment is necessary. However I personally would never send my child to a house with a dog that wouldn’t be kept at least a distance away from him, or to anyone that wouldn’t listen if I said keep them away altogether. No matter how good you believe your dog to be, you can never trust them 100% with a child, and it literally takes 2 seconds. Our family friend recently lost their 6 month old baby girl due to their dog attacking her when they were right there in the same room. Had never tried to attack anyone before. It’s so quick and scary. It should be taken so seriously. My parents look after my boy all the time and they have a dog who we all love, but they know they have to watch them 24/7 and not let her too close. If I didn’t believe they took these precautions I would never send him there without me

I wouldn’t leave my child with someone whose dog has gone for any of my kids. It’s not worth it. But in general, I wouldn’t risk assess anyone’s house where my kids are going. They only really ever go to my parents and I trust them enough to use their common sense and remove any hazards.

I don’t think you need a risk assessment. As your baby gets bigger and moves more then I imagine they will react to that by moving objects out the way or making sure she can’t get into the kitchen or the stairs and if they have a a downstairs bathroom making sure she can’t reach the bleach ect. The dog on the other hand…there might be ways round that though like having your daughters scent round their house so the dog gets used to it but they need to be reactive and do it gradually.

@Aurélie I hadn’t thought about it before but she is only 6 months old and is only rolling. So it’s not like she is moving around. They stay in their kitchen and with it having a hard floor I think it just if she is sat down and falls and hits her head but feel like they are just going to be constantly holding her. They recently got rid of the dog cage too for it which is annoying

@Lara it’s only a sausage dog but anytime she cries or laughs and he is close to her he goes for her. They are just so chill about it and I said both times how I don’t like that dog and to keep him away from her

@Katie yeah I bet! I think like people said maybe you don't need to do a formal risk assessment but just checking things when you go over and having a serious conversation about the dog.. 😔 It's so scary! Good luck!

I’m not sure. I don’t know how I would feel if someone came round to my house to do a risk assessment if I was providing free childcare, you could speak to them about it and see what they say. I suppose when it comes down to identified risks, who will be responsible for the mitigations? You or them as the home owners? And will they be willing to do whatever is recommended? Will the risk assessment outcome change whether or not you use them for childcare? I think that the fact you’re considering the need to do this gives you indication that there’s something to be worried about. That’s things as family you could talk through with them about rather than go through a formal process. Nurseries have independent risk assessments done and public liability insurance x

Could they do the childcare at your house instead? And leave thier dog at home?

What risk assessment is being suggested? A vet assessment? It might be worth having classes for the dog. I would not leave my baby with a dog that has gone for her before, full stop.

I don’t think it’s a case of doing a formal risk assessment, but definitely take a mental note if they have sharp corners on things, cables trailing around the place, small objects in reach or anything else that might be a danger. The dog would worry me, I wouldn’t worry about their feelings in that respect - I am a mother and am protecting my child. If they won’t respect your wishes to keep them apart then I’d seriously reconsider. Some dogs can see babies as a big squeaky toy!

@Bee the lady at the baby group just said it’s always good to do one but I never thought about it. Our problem is just the dog but I feel like I’m the only one worried about it

@Katie no, they won’t even come round to ours to visit us they always want us at theirs

@Chelsea the only thing I was going to say was to not have the dog in the house see if someone else can have him and not to be in the kitchen all the time and stay in the living room as it’s got carpet and they have underfloor heating in the kitchen and it always feels like a sauna in there

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@Katie follow your instinct and your gut. You’re worried for a reason. Dogs (any pets really) can act out without warning, so unless your parents are on board it’s never going to be ‘risk free’. It’s a non-negotiable and the dog can be in another room etc surely

Not OTT. They haven't gotten a baby in their home for a while. They can't be as aware as you are about things. Think about stairs, gates, access to the kitchen, pools, door safety, exit to the street, poisonous plants, medication storage, pins, needles, nails... And yes, friendly pets from hell with more importance than any child. The list can be endless depending on the house and the baby. My LO knew how to open doors with keys at 1.5 yo!!! We have to be extra careful and grandparents won't easily change their habits. We have seen mistakes take place even after explaining and they need constant reminders.

It's unlikely they meant a proper formal risk assessment. You don't do those for everyone's houses you go to, or even your own house! But from what you've said I'd reconsider having them as childcare because of the dog.

I think you need to have a serious conversation with them. My parents have a dog, she's never gone for any of the children, but still isn't left alone with them. If my parents knew she was at risk of anything, they would remove her from the situation. She has grown up around children, albeit with a bit of a break (my nephew is 12, his sister is almost 5). If they can't reassure you, you might need to consider alternative childcare

@Lisa I feel like they are just going to kick off and say i just don’t want them to look after her. I would hope they would send the dog to a family member’s house but I don’t know

@Bee it’s my boyfriend’s dad and his partner who will have her. My parents live 4 hours away from me. I was hoping they would keep the dog in the cage but they stupidly got rid of it

Maybe have a serious discussion with your boyfriend and have him speak with his dad and partner about the dog. I think it’s valid to have concerns regarding the dog and but also set clear boundaries with those watching your child. If they don’t want to get rid of the dog, fine, but what are they going to do to keep the dog away from your child? If they don’t have any response to that then honestly it wouldn’t be worth it to have them watch your child for one day a week if you are uncomfortable.

@Katie I agree with Dara … and if they kick off, so be it. Baby comes first.

@Katie could you guys offer to buy a new cage for the dog? That if you are happy with the rest and them looking after her.

@𝔾𝕚𝕤𝕖𝕝𝕝𝕖 I could but see what they say to that

Because the dog has already gone for another child I personally wouldn't let them have baby alone unless they can guarantee the dog will never be around baby. The risk of baby being bitten is far to high for me personally. Many dog owners make excuses and hopefully your parents aren't one of them but dog don't even need to have bitten a child/ baby before to be a danger unfortunately some children have been left with life changing injuries from usually very loving dogs.

@Helen it’s my boyfriends dads dog, when it happened the first time they just said he hasn’t been around babies before which is a terrible excuse. I know he is only a dachshund but he could still cause some damage. I made it clear to them I don’t like that dog but they didn’t say anything

@Katie any dog bite can be quiet nasty and dachshunds are rabbit catchers if I remember rightly a baby is small like what for many, many years they were bread for. Yes dogs might get excitable by new items and people but that's why it's important to be by their side and don't let the dog out your site because of the unpredictability. Personally I wouldn't leave baby alone with them till I could guarantee the babies safety & that might mean they miss out on time with baby

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