Kids and Petting Zoos
Simple Steps Can Prevent Infections at Petting Zoos
Playing With Animals Still OK
None of this is to say that children should be kept from
animals. There are a lot of benefits to be gained by kids interacting with
animals, says Linda J. Lyons, MSW, LICSW, a therapist who uses animals when she
works with troubled children -- such as decreased anxiety, increased
confidence, and the chance to connect with another living being in a
And thanks to our increasingly urban society, "a petting
zoo may be the only place where kids are exposed to animals besides cats and
dogs," she says.
"It would be a shame to see these small petting zoos
disappear because of this outbreak," he says. Instead, he hopes that health
departments will work with local petting zoos to help them develop safer
He also hopes that parents become informed about the risks and
take some precautions to safeguard their kids.
After all, he says, "A petting zoo is a great
Michele Bloomquist is a freelance writer based
in Brush Prairie, Wash. She writes frequently about consumer health.