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Pet Therapy at Batchley First and Nursery School

Pets and Mental Health: Interacting with a friendly pet reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. It also increases the release of oxytocin—another chemical in the body that reduces stress naturally. That’s why animal-assisted therapy is so powerful and why Batchley wanted to secure this for our children. Furthermore, the sensory act of stroking a pet lowers blood pressure. Therefore, it reduces stress and we are looking at creating a stress free environment for all of our children. Studies have shown that pets can help calm hyperactive or aggressive children. In one study, a group of stressed-out children were asked to pet a rabbit, a turtle, or a toy. Touching the toy didn’t have any effects. However, stroking the rabbit or turtle relieved anxiety. In addition, even people who didn’t particularly like animals experienced the benefits. Hence, Batchley have agreed to having two Guinea-pigs to support the children after lock-down. It is having  a really postive impact and encouraging some reluctant children to come into school and head straight for the Guniea-pigs. It is lovely to listen to their conversations with Ice-cream and Biscuit.

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